Early Voting in Georgia Threatened–Legislature Needs to Hear from YOU

GAPUNDITHouse Bill (HB) 891 has been introduced in the Georgia General Assembly and the aim of this bill is to reduce the number of early voting days in Georgia cities (municipalities) from 21 days to 6 days.  This bill if passed would impact 535 municipalities including cities like Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, and Savannah as well as other smaller cities across this state.

This proposed bill promises to undermine hard-fought progress to expand access to the ballot in Georgia, and, in the process possibly run afoul of federal and state laws. Importantly, this legislation was introduced fewer than eight months following the Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder ruling, in which the Supreme Court declared Section 4(b) – a core protection against voting rights discrimination, unconstitutional.

This bill passed out of the Rules Committee today and is scheduled to be debated on the House floor on Friday. It is important for those of good conscience to contact their representatives to remind them of the value of early voting. Value of early voting:  1) reducing stress on the voting system on Election Day; 2) alleviating long lines on Election Day; 3) improving poll worker performance; 4) allowing early identification and correction of registration errors and voting system glitches; and 5) providing greater access to voting and increased voter satisfaction. (Brennen Center Early Voting Report)

Tomorrow may very well be too late to voice your opinion on this significant political change. This bill is being pushed as a “cost savings” measure, which could ultimately end up costing big cities more money. (If you have fewer opportunities to vote, you will have more voters showing up on election day leading to the purchase of more voting machines or additional staffing hours to deal with the volume.)

A Georgia specific study on early voting by Dr. Charles Bullock showed a direct correlation between the availability of early voting and the rise of voter turnout numbers.

Proponents of this bill have not conducted proper analysis as to the true cost of early voting.

There has been no analysis on how this will affect minorities and the elderly, who readily rely on early voting.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Barry Fleming, told the Rules Committee that his bill was a result of a “unanimous request” from members of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA).

If you agree, if you care about opening the democracy to all registered voters, then ask you Councilman, mayor, county exec to pass a resolution to oppose legislation and to use the bully pulpit, social media to oppose this legislation. Call, email, Facebook, Twitter or fax your State Representative TODAY!

You can find out your elected officials by following the links belo

Secretary of the State    

United States Census  

Vote-Smart.org  

Comments

  1. Susie Owsley says:

    Early voting is essential to the voting process. What other motive could there be for preventing early voting, other than another means to suppress the vote. It’s outrageous and as voters we have a right to protest it.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      “What other motive could there be for preventing early voting, other than another means to suppress the vote.”

      Reducing costs and simplifying the process are two valid motives. Looking at governmental train wrecks like Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, the two motives I mention would certainly improve the voting process.

      • Susie Owsley says:

        You are probably a republican with a response like that. PLEASE!!

        • Burroughston Broch says:

          I’m more of a libertarian but am not registered as belonging to any political party.
          Tell me why reducing costs and simplifying the voting process are not valid motives.

          • @Burroughston it is not a valid motive because of timing. The only reason that Georgia, and other states want to reduce the number of early voting days is to reduce the numbers of minority voters that will vote for the Democrats, since that block of people have been trending Democrats for the past few years. It really boils down to the fact that they saw the support that was given to elect and re-elect President Obama, and they are shaking in their boots. Desperate times call for desperate measures in their eyes.

  2. Susie Owsley says:

    Thank you Sean for sharing my sentiments. Truth always speak volumes. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it – “we as a people will get to the promise land”.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      @ Susie and Sean
      You have truly drunk the progressive thought koolade.
      You keep throwing up dogma instead of addressing the point I made – reducing the voting period will reduce cost and increase simplicity. Stating that one group of people needs more time to vote than others is pure rubbish.

      • @Burroughston I was born on a Saturday, but unfortunately for your argument, not last Saturday. It would be dogma if only one state was doing it. There are too many Red states that are doing if for it to be a coincidence. The Republicans would love to go back to the days of Jim Crow, but it is not going to happen. The so called freedom loving party should learn to win elections by having policies that will give them the highest number of votes, not by disenfranchising people that want to vote.

        • Burroughston Broch says:

          Sean, as I stated before I am not a Republican so their tactics are not mine.
          I want simplicity and reduced cost of government, and a shorter voting period will help attain what I want. I am tired of funding train wrecks like the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections; there is where voters are disenfranchised and it is a Democratic-controlled body.
          If President Obama were in favor of shorter voting periods tomorrow you would get in lockstep and change your position.

          • It would not matter to me what President Obama’s position is on this. As a matter of fact I think the voting periods should be longer. I believe that voting is a right and should be inclusive to as many people as possible. I am not sure what President Obama has to do with this, but maybe you felt like throwing that in there after listening to Ted Nugent and Rush Limbaugh. As a person of color I understand what the voting patterns of other people of color are, and what is convenient for them. Those people that you would like to disenfranchise are tax payers too. It does not matter to me what your political affiliation is. I am against policies that are calculated and intentional that will have a direct negative impact on a block of people. You might as well be a Republican. You feel as though you own this government and country and the rest of us are only here on a temporary lease by your graces. I too care about reducing cost and waste, but I just simply cannot go along with these policies that are akin to policies in the past that hurt people that look like me.

  3. Burroughston Broch says:

    Sean, why can’t you vote within a six day period? Please be precise. I have never had any problem voting on the appointed day or voting absentee when need be.

    • Sean Cotton says:

      I can usually vote within a six day period, but I am not naive or selfish enough to think that my situation applies to most. Voting is too important to make that assumption.

      • Burroughston Broch says:

        Perhaps 6 months would be more suited for those for whom you presume to speak? Or perhaps a year or more?
        In all candor, for what valid reason do people need more than 6 days to vote?