In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Georgia by 11,779 votes (a margin of 0.23%). Unfortunately, Biden’s victory fueled enormous backlash led by the former President who, in a flagrant abuse of power, tried to pressure Georgia’s Secretary of State to overturn the election. Born out of the turmoil of the 2020 election, last year Georgia Republicans passed a major law to restrict voting access, introducing more rigid voter ID requirements for absentee balloting, reducing the number of drop boxes and expanding the Legislature’s authority over elections.
Voting rights groups have pushed back, arguing that the new law unfairly targets voters of color particularly the state’s large Black population, which helped President Biden in the 2020 election and Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the January 2021 runoff elections.
This year, Republicans continued efforts to make voting harder, introducing a bill that would have expanded the reach of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation over election crimes; limit private funding of elections; empower partisan poll watchers; and establish new requirements for tracking absentee ballots. But the most controversial aspects of the bill were defeated on March 29, in a 10-0 vote by members of the state Senate Ethics Committee. The bill that was advanced features only one segment of the original proposal: expanding the length of time citizens can take off from their jobs to vote during the state’s early-voting period. This was a small victory for voting rights advocates, however, the future remains uncertain.
With the 2022 midterm elections quickly approaching, the need to protect voting rights in Georgia is great. During 2022, Georgians will vote for Governor, a U.S. Senate seat, U.S. House representatives and a variety of other state and local elections.
One of the most effective ways citizens in any state can fight for Georgia voters is by supporting organizations like The New Georgia Project. The New Georgia Project is a non-partisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians.
- In 2014, NGP launched a voter registration program resulting in roughly 69,000 new voters.
- As of September 2019, NGP has helped register almost half a million Georgians.
- NGP meets new voters where they are – in churches, on college campuses, and in their neighborhoods – to share information about how to register and how to vote. NGP turns new registrants into informed and engaged voters, many for the first time ever.
- NGP has played a leading role in fighting back major voter suppression bills in Georgia including helping to defeat the latest bill in March.
With voting rights under attack throughout the country, including in states like Georgia, organizations like NGP represent our best chance of empowering citizens locally to protect democratic rights.
Please consider donating to this freedom fighting organization via the following link: The New Georgia Project.