Voting Rights

Issue

Voting, the cornerstone of our democracy, is under threat today. Overwhelming evidence shows a coordinated strategy to disenfranchise American citizens by unfairly burdening and blocking their path to the polls, including restrictive voter ID laws and voter registration rules, gerrymandering, purging voter rolls, and disenfranchising former felons.

 

Background

Attacks on our voting rights reach back to the founding of the Republic, when propertied White men alone enjoyed the right to vote. It took amendments to the Constitution and 1965 Voting Rights Act to enable women and African Americans to exercise this fundamental right.

 

In 2013, the Supreme Court wrongly decided Shelby County vs. Holder to gut voting rights and turn back the clock to allow southern states to restrict voting without federal oversight by the Justice Department.

 

Impact

  • Seventy percent of Georgia voters purged in 2018 were Black. 

  • Across the country, one in 13 Black Americans cannot vote due to disenfranchisement laws.

  • One-third of voters with a disability report difficulty voting.

  • Only 40% of polling places fully accommodate people with disabilities. 

  • Across the country, counties with larger minority populations have fewer polling sites and poll workers per voter.

  • Seven counties in Georgia now have only one polling place.

  • The pandemic is worsening election difficulties.

  • 1,688 polling sites across 13 states have closed in the six years since the Shelby vs. Holder decision gutted key voter protections.

  • Georgia has lost 214 polling places since 2015, hitting hardest its 31% African American population and its 9% Latino population.

  • Georgia counties have closed higher percentages of voting locations than any other state in the country, reports the “Democracy Diverted” study.

 

Policy Proposition and Implementation

Now is the time to restore full voting rights to all citizens and pass H.R. 4 as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020.  We need to establish fair criteria to determine which states and political subdivisions must obtain federal “preclearance” before changing state and county voting practices. Each voting precinct should provide adequate drop-off boxes for absentee/mail-in ballots.

 

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Franklin for Congress, Inc. 

P.O. Box 110274

Atlanta, Georgia 30311

404-552-4639

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- Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District -

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