Amid threats of Election Day intimidation, 23 Georgia organizations are joining 87 national civil rights and voting rights groups to urge Secretary of State Brian Kemp to create plans to prevent voting discrimination in advance of the first presidential election in 50 years without a fully operable Voting Rights Act.
In a letter sent to Secretary Kemp, the groups cite their concern with the loss of Section 5 of the VRA, writing “Since Congress has failed to pass a bill to restore the VRA, which has resulted in DOJ’s lacking authority over voting changes in places that Congress determined in 2006 should continue to have federal oversight, we are extremely concerned that there will be widespread voter discrimination in the upcoming presidential election.”
To blunt the impact of voting discrimination, these organizations are engaging in a massive litigation effort and an election protection campaign to protect voters at the polls but voters have very little protection from local election changes, the misapplication and misunderstanding of new voting restrictions by poll workers, or threats of intimidation from polling place vigilantes.
“The loss of Section 5 and the most racially bigoted presidential campaign in generations has created a perfect storm for voter intimidation and voter discrimination,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “Secretary Kemp must address these unprecedented threats head on by creating and publicizing a clear plan to prevent intimidation and discrimination, and to make it unequivocally clear that this election will be safe, fair, and free from intimidation, violence, and discrimination.”
The full letter can be read by flipping the e-page: