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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/13/20

Republicans Run Full-Tilt Voter Suppression With an Eye on November

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Greetings from Georgia

Anyone still needing evidence of Republicans' racist voter suppression tactics should look at what just happened in Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is calling Tuesday's in-person presidential primary a "complete meltdown" after predominantly minority regions of the state were deprived of enough voting machines and polling places, leading to voters having to stand in line six to seven hours in the heat during a pandemic.

What machines there were either malfunctioned or were unable to be operated since some poll workers reported being inadequately trained on them after being hired shortly before Tuesday.

Some machines hadn't arrived by the time the polls were scheduled to open.

Majority white areas are not reporting these problems.

One of Georgia's voters who turned out Tuesday is 80-year-old Anita Heard.

About the debacle, she commented:

"America has gotten to the point that we are now taking the liberties of people, even voting, from them. How can we do this?"

The coronavirus/COVID-19 national emergency has led to most states' governors issuing executive orders to either postpone primaries or encourage voters to mail absentee ballots to avoid in-person contact. Some states did both.

Georgia is on the list of states that delayed--twice.

In the interim, instead of ensuring a system by which all registered voters could cast ballots easily and safely, the state relocated 10 percent of its polling stations and closed more than 80 sites in the Atlanta metro area.

This would be alarming if it weren't so predictable.

Georgia has been at the forefront of Republican election theft the past few years as Democrats and civil rights groups have accused Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his predecessor, Gov. Brian Kemp, of intentionally purging the state's voter rolls and encouraging polling places to consolidate.

As Secretary of State, Brian Kemp had direct jurisdiction over the voter rolls, yet he refused to vacate his position while running for governor in 2018 against Democratic challenger, former Georgia House minority leader, Stacy Abrams.

A month before the 2018 election, The Associated Press reported under Kemp's charge, at least 53,000 voter registration applications-mostly from black voters-are being delayed for "additional screening."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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