Please make your voice heard to help protect our vote!

With Georgia turning blue, one of the Republicans’ highest priorities in the current general assembly session is making it harder to vote. They want to eliminate “no cause” requests for absentee ballots. They want to require a photocopy of the voter’s ID to be sent in with the absentee ballot AND with the request for one. They want to eliminate drop boxes. And they want to end automatic voter registration when getting a driver’s license. These are just some of the nine bills proposed so far that would make it harder to vote, all without cause. Voter fraud is not a real issue. Voter suppression is.

You can read more about the specifics of the bills here: https://www.ajc.com/…/OBTWL3M6MJH25MI56XGNNUODPY/…

These bills have been proposed in the Georgia Senate, so the first people to contact are those in the Senate Ethics Committee, as they’ll be the first to review and discuss the bills. That committee will meet this Thursday, February 4, at 8 a.m., so please contact them before then. Then contact your own state representative and senator. Here are the emails of the Senate Ethics Committee: max.burns@senate.ga.gov, dean.burke@senate.ga.gov, harold.jones@senate.ga.gov, jason.anavitarte@senate.ga.gov, gloria.butler@senate.ga.gov, mike.dugan@senate.ga.gov, steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov, ed.harbison@senate.ga.gov, sally.harrell@senate.ga.gov, bo.hatchett@senate.ga.gov, butch.miller@senate.ga.gov, randy.robertson@senate.ga.gov, brian.strickland@senate.ga.gov.

Here’s some suggested text. Please adapt into your own words, particularly your feelings and experiences regarding access to absentee ballots, drop boxes, automatic voter registration, etc. Personal stories help!

To the Members of the Senate Ethics Committee,

We all know that Georgia’s November election results were counted three times, including once by hand, and no significant irregularities or fraud were found. The 2,600 uncounted votes that were found were caused by human error, not fraud. All accusations of fraud were effectively rebutted.

As for absentee ballots, the GBI investigators who audited the signatures on more than 15,000 absentee ballot envelopes in Cobb County found “no fraudulent absentee ballots,” according to the audit report. Secretary of State Raffensberger said, “This audit disproves the only credible allegations the Trump campaign had against the strength of Georgia’s signature match processes.”

Please don’t “fix” something that isn’t broken. We had record-breaking turnout of Georgia voters, both on the Republican and Democratic sides, and that’s a good thing. We need to continue to make the vote accessible to all legal Georgia voters.

It’s especially important to continue to allow no-excuse absentee ballots. These are essential for those who work more than one job, have children or elderly parents to care for, don’t have private transportation to polling places, suffer from a chronic illness, or are trying to limit their exposure to others during the pandemic.

There were no problems with our secure, absentee ballot drop boxes, which remain popular with voters of both parties, and those need to continue to be easily accessible. Nor is there a need for photo ID verification to be submitted with absentee ballots. As the extensive audit proved, the signature match program works. Five states conduct their entire elections by mail, and have for years. Additionally, the program to automatically register Georgia residents when they get a driver’s license has been a big success. Please don’t create hurdles to exercising our right to vote just because some people weren’t happy with the outcome of some elections.

Thank you for your work to protect and expand voter rights, and help our elections to be organized and secure, for all Georgians.

Sincerely,
your name
your address

Now please contact your own state house representative and senator. You can find their contact info here: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/. If you want to really make your voice count, both call and email! Houston Gaines, the state house representative for one third of Athens, is on the House Special Committee on Election Integrity, so he’s especially important to contact if he’s your representative.

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