Posts Tagged ‘voter suppression’

Georgia’s New Jim Crow

April 2, 2021

Georgia's New Jim Crow

Republican Governor Brian Kemp, elected in 2018 after suppressing Georgia’s Black vote, has signed a new voter suppression bill into law. Georgia’s S.B. 202 bans mobile voting, limits secure drop boxes, and prohibits volunteers from giving water to Georgia voters waiting in the long voting lines typical of the state’s black neighborhoods. It cuts the time window when voters can request a mail-in ballot by half, and absentee ballots will now be mailed out three weeks later than before. S.B. 202 also allows the State Board of Elections to overide county election boards and replace them with state-appointed administrators.

The NAACP and ACLU, understandably, have challenged the new law in court as a violation of the First, Second, and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Voting Rights Act. Who else is against the law? Georgia’s biggest employers, including Coca Cola, Home Depot, AFLAC, Delta Airlines and Tyler Perry Studios.


“’Jim Crow In a Suit and Tie’: Georgia Passes Massive Voter Suppression Bill,” Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair

“72 Black executives call on corporate America to fight voting restrictions,” Shawna Chen, Axios

“Georgia-based companies face boycott calls over voting bill,” Chris Isidore, CNN Business

“MLBPA open to discussing moving 2021 MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta after new voting laws pass in the state,” R.J. Anderson, CBS Sports

“Black voter says a painting at Georgia governor’s voter bill signing shows the plantation where her family worked for generations,” Natasha Chen and Theresa Waldrop, CNN


“MLB will move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta as backlash to Georgia voting law continues,” Chelsea Janes, Washington Post

“What Georgia’s Voting Law Really Does,” Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein, New York Times


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Voter Suppression

September 25, 2020

The Guardian‘s Sam Levine looks at four key tactics used to block votes in Donald Trump’s campaign to delegitimize November’s election.

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A Musical Lesson for Louis DeJoy

August 17, 2020

Everyone from Benjamin Franklin to the Mickey Mouse Club has realized the importance of prompt mail delivery in America. Everyone except recently-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, that is. Listen up, Louis.

Above: 1979 song by Larry Groce and the Disneyland Children’s Sing-Along Chorus

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Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

April 13, 2020

Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order went into effect on March 25th, and the governor tried to delay in-person voting until June, but the state’s Republican-majority legislature, in a session attended by only 2 members, convened for 17 seconds to force voting in person on April 7th, pandemic be damned. The Republican-dominated State Supreme Court voted to overturn the governor’s delay order, and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision backed that up.

Thus, on April 7th, the GOP compelled a death march of Wisconsin voters to polling places in the middle of the US coronavirus outbreak. Poll workers, largely elderly and at risk of COVID-19, stayed away, reducing the number of polling places and causing hours-long lines of masked voters in the few that were open. Many voters who requested absentee ballots did not receive them before election day.

Why this unseemly, unhealthy haste? It is a truth universally acknowledged that Republicans must be in want of low voter turnout to continue their gerrymandered stranglehold on the Nation’s body politic. If a pandemic can help them, they’re okay with that. Wisconsin votes will be tallied today, April 13th. Perhaps “I Voted” stickers will get civic-minded victims priority in the state’s ICUs.

Due to the pandemic, many states are transitioning to vote-by-mail systems. Republicans are against it, including President Trump, who recently voted by mail.


“Wisconsin: the state where American democracy went to die,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“The Wisconsin GOP Is Risking Voters’ Lives to Protect Its Minority Rule,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Wisconsin tracking potential spread of coronavirus from Tuesday’s election,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

“Wisconsin health officials step up efforts to track coronavirus exposure from primary election,” Quint Forgey, Politico

“Gerrymandering Meets the Coronavirus in Wisconsin,” Michael Li, Brennan Center

“How Wisconsin’s election disenfranchised voters,” Vox


“Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“Trump Wants 50 Wisconsins on Election Day,” Jamelle Bouie, New York Times

“Republicans Could Use the Coronavirus to Suppress Votes Across the Country. This Week We Got a Preview,” Carol Anderson, Time


“Thousands of Wisconsin ballots could be thrown out because they don’t have a postmark,” Ian Millhiser, Vox


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Jimmy Carter’s Letter to Brian Kemp

October 31, 2018

Jimmy Carter's Letter to Brian Kemp

Former president and Georgia resident Jimmy Carter wrote to his state’s Republican nominee for governor, Brian Kemp, asking him to resign as Georgia secretary of state. The secretary of state oversees elections.

October 22, 2018

To Secretary of State Brian Kemp:

I have officially observed scores of doubtful elections in many countries, and one of the key requirements for a fair and trusted process is that there be nonbiased supervision of the electoral process.

In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and … serious questions … about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate. This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority. Other secretaries of state have stepped down while running for election within their jurisdiction, to ensure that officials without a direct stake in the process can take charge and eliminate concerns about a conflict of interest.

In order to foster voter confidence in the upcoming election, which will be especially important if the race ends up very close, I urge you to step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governor’s election. This would not address every concern, but it would be a sign that you recognize the importance of this key democratic principle and want to ensure the confidence of our citizens in the outcome.


Jimmy Carter

Emphasis added. The full text of the letter is here

In case you forgot, before he monitored elections across the world, before he served as president, Jimmy Carter was Governor of Georgia, the position Brian Kemp is attempting to procure by questionable means.


“Jimmy Carter Calls For Georgia Secretary Of State’s Resignation In Personal Plea,” Colin Dwyer, NPR News

“Watch the Georgia Minority Vote Disappear Before Your Eyes,” Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone

“Stealing an election in Georgia: everything you need to know about voter suppression,” Sophie McBain, New Statesman

“Where Voter Suppression Hits Hardest in Georgia,” Brentin Mock, CityLab


“Judge orders Georgia to allow new U.S. citizens to vote,” Shannon Vavra, Axios

“How Voting Became a Central Issue in the Georgia Governor’s Race,” Richard Fausset, New York Times


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