- In response to the Georgia House’s passing of HB 531, an extreme, discriminatory voter suppression bill which includes restrictions on mail-in and weekend voting, strict voter ID requirements, and other measures that disproportionately impact Black voters, voters of color, and rural voters, Monica Simpson, executive director: *
“We are outraged by the passing of HB 531, but are unfortunately not surprised. Whether it’s our voting rights or our reproductive rights, our communities are constantly under attack by elected officials who are determined to use our bodies and wombs as pawns in their conservative political agenda. It’s no surprise that Republican lawmakers are making every effort possible to suppress votes and undermine the extraordinary political power of Georgia’s Black communities and communities of color.
We know whose votes turned our state blue, and within the last few months of 2020, we saw Black women, Southern organizers, and communities of color deliver win after win, from the election of Raphael Warnock, a radical, pro-choice senator from the Deep South, to the elections of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Our power is tremendous and transformative.
Our right to vote is also imperative to bringing us closer to a world that revolves around love, autonomy, respect and the values of reproductive justice that mean that all people—especially women and communities of color—are able to live healthy, safe and self-determined lives, whether that means having children and families, choosing not to have children or families, or raising the families we have in communities that are free from the the threat of harm or violence.
When our votes are compromised, so is our access to safe and accessible sexual and reproductive health care, which unapologetically includes abortions; when our votes our suppressed, so is our ability to take care of our families and raise our children in sustainable, thriving communities.
HB 531 restricts dropbox access, adds new ID requirements for mail voting, and restricts weekend voting, among other provisions, all of which demonstrate just how unrelenting the GOP-led Georgia legislature is in their attacks on the voting rights of Black voters, voters of color, and rural voters.
Another bill under consideration, SB 241, would also end no-excuse mail voting, implement new ID requirements, and add witness requirements for mail voters- in essence, creating one of the most restrictive absentee voting laws in the entire country and resulting in some of the worst voter suppression since Jim Crow."
- Danielle Rodriguez, Georgia State Coordinator for SisterSong: "In 2020, we saw what it meant when Black women got together and mobilized an entire state to vote. We saw church leaders continue to mobilize members of their congregation to weekend voting caravans for “Souls to the Polls”. We saw our LGBTQIA leaders mobilize together with “Vote with Pride” & “Queer the Vote” And we can’t forget the creativity that came out of Georgia from our night club dancers’ with “Get Your Booty to the Poll”!
In the midst of losing our loved ones to the pandemic, police brutality, and police violence, Georgia’s community did amazing work encouraging us all to vote. Unfortunately, the voter suppression bills that have made their way to Georgia’s Capitol are an attack on our Black pride! We did the unthinkable here, and instead of seeing our humanity and the beauty of Black excellence, we are being targeted in an act of hatred and white supremacy.
With little to no time to celebrate our win, we are forced to fight white supremacy, yet again. If you live in Georgia, please follow the work at Fair Fight and participate in their calls to action. Those of you who don’t we invite you to speak up and speak out against this latest atrocity, but to also make a commitment to dismantle and rebuild every system that causes harm to our bodies, our families, and our communities.”
We will continue to keep you updated and to speak out for the health, rights and autonomy of Black, Indigenous and other women of color.