• John Eaves

Voting Rights in Focus During Senate Rules Committee Hearing in Atlanta

Today, I attended the U.S. Senate Rules Committee Hearing held at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. The hearing was chaired by Senator Amy Klobuchar with fellow democrat members: Senator Alex Padilla, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Sen. Jon Ossoff. Testimony was given by Helen Butler, President of the People's Agenda, Ga. State Sen. Sally Harrell, and Jose Segarra of Warner-Robins.

Photo credit: Kelly Jordan

The Senate Hearing painted a dark picture of the spirit and intent of SB 202, Georgia’s new voting laws, which Senate Democrats called an abuse of power by Georgia Republican legislators and is designed to suppress the vote of communities of color in Georgia. The Senate hearing revealed that the upcoming purge of an estimated 100,000 registered voters by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is ill-advised. According to Sen. Jeff Merkley, 63% of these voters will be purged because of errors.

Senator Jon Ossoff said SB 202 is "a surgical attempt to restrict voting of Black voters" and Helen Butler said SB 202 restricts absentee voting because it’s becoming a preferred voting option for Blacks. Butler also said in the 2020 election, "30% of Black voters used absentee voting compared to 24% of white voters."

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