Black Mayors Condemn Voter Suppression Efforts in GA and Nationwide
Published on March 31, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) — Nationwide, lawmakers have proposed measures to make it harder for people to cast ballots. They claim it’s necessary to stop voter fraud. But the reality is, it’s all an attempt to prevent people of color from voting.
Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS, (Newport News, VA) -- president of the African American Mayors Association issued the following statement in response:
“It is painfully obvious that these voting bills aim to suppress communities of color. In the 2020 election, voters of color turned out at record-high levels -- an enormous feat. But now, many lawmakers are afraid that high voter turnout among communities of color could jeopardize their chances of re-election. So rather than trying to change their policies or appeal to new voters, they have decided to silence Black voices.
“Georgia’s recently passed SB 202 is particularly egregious for requiring voters requesting absentee ballots to present an identification card, which communities of color and poorer people are less likely to have. It also restricts the number of drop boxes available to voters and drastically slashes the hours the drop boxes are available.
“And, perhaps most absurdly, it is now a crime to distribute food and water to voters waiting in line. That has absolutely nothing to do with election safety. Instead, it has everything to do with ensuring waiting in line is as miserable as possible to deter voting. And Georgia is notorious for making voters wait in hours-long lines to vote.
“These ludicrous, voter suppression tactics aren’t confined to just Georgia. State legislators across the nation are copying and pasting these provisions into their own bills.
“Make no mistake: suppressing Black voters is nothing new. It’s an endless cycle of oppression that contradicts the very premise of democracy -- that our government should represent the will of the people. Black mayors will not stand for this. We will continue to push for equal access to the ballot box for all.”