The Choice/Zerlina Maxwell: “Like really? They’re just gonna suppress the vote instead of trying to get people to vote for them? Make it make sense. A Georgia election’s watchdog called this bill, ‘Jim Crow in a suit and a tie.’”
Georgia State Rep. Jasmine Clark: “HB 531 is textbook voter suppression. This bill reduces, restricts and limits every single aspect of our elections.”
The bills are based directly on Trump’s false claims about voter fraud.
They would eliminate no-excuse voting by mail, roll back in-person early voting, and restrict ballot drop boxes and mobile polling sites.
State Sen. Sally Harrell: “Most of these bills are based on falsehoods. All these stories about massive amounts of voter fraud, these bills are a reaction to those stories.”
Republican State Rep. Alan Powell: “I’m not getting into the part about widespread voter fraud. You’re correct, it wasn’t found. It’s just in a lot of people’s minds, that there was.”
Republicans also want to require multiple forms of ID to vote and increase the cost of getting a photo ID.
Rev. James Woodall, State President, GA NAACP: “The Georgia general assembly is currently considering a bill, house bill 246, that increases the amount it costs to obtain a driver’s license, which, again would discriminately impact Black and poor Georgians throughout this process. Higher percentages of Black and Brown Georgians live in poverty. Now, this could be considered another form of a poll tax.”
Another provision would limit early voting on Sundays, taking aim at the ‘Souls to the Polls’ events where many Black voters cast ballots after church.
Cliff Albright, Black Voters Matter Fund Co-Founder: “We go vote in large numbers. They’re targeting that day because they know what the impact will be.”
Ari Berman, Mother Jones: This is really a new form of Jim Crow because they target the voting methods that were used the most by Black voters in states like Georgia.”
We looked into the Georgia Republicans spearheading these bills and discovered that they get financial backing from some of America’s largest companies.
Delta Airlines, which is headquartered in Atlanta, gave $41,600 to the bills’ sponsors since 2018.
They got another $35,000 each from UPS and Coca-Cola, also both based in Georgia.
Coca-Cola is the same company that ran ads in 2020 about the importance of voting targeting Black Americans.
Their money is going to extremists. Those three companies and more bankrolled Sen. Brandon Beach, who promoted voter fraud falsehoods and even sued Mike Pence to stop him from certifying the electoral college.
State Sen. Brandon Beach: “I am more and more convinced now that this was a well-orchestrated, coordinated effort by several groups to commit widespread and systemic fraud.”
Sen. Burt Jones, who also pushed to overturn the election, is funded by Coke, UPS, Walmart, AllState, Comcast, and more.
Former President Donald Trump, December 2020: “Where’s Burt Jones. Where’s Burt Jones? Burt. Burt, boy…He’s a man of courage. Thank you very much, Burt. I appreciate everything you’re doing and so does this big crowd.”
All together, corporations have given over $7.4 million to the sponsors of Georgia’s voter suppression bills in the last three years.
Georgia Republicans are trying to pass these laws as fast as possible but most of the damage can be prevented if Congress passes legislation that protects voting rights nationwide.
Rep. Calvin Smyre: “Fundamentally, the right to vote is very precious. And from a historical perspective, we’ve climbed a mighty mountain, a mighty hill to get the right to vote. And I just cannot regress or abdicate that…I’ve been in office for 47 years, and I stand on the shoulder of people who gave their life for the right to vote. And I know history. I know history.”