A couple of days ago, I wrote about Stacey Abrams, and upon her second try for the governorship of Georgia, she’s making a national call for voting rights reform. 19 states have already passed 34 laws this year alone to make some restrictions, 13 bills have been pre-filed for 2022, and 88 of them will carry over into the new year, as stated by the Brennan Center. Remember, in the 2018 Georgia governor’s election, Abrams only lost to Gov. Kemp by 55,000 votes.
It’s not only a national attack on the right to vote that we have to worry about–it’s every small county, especially where there is a sizable Black population. In the Abrams’ state of Georgia, Lincoln County, where there is a 29% Black population, the county is moving to shut every polling place down but one, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
Relocating voters from the county’s seven precincts to a single location will make voting “easier and more accessible” and eliminate the need to transport voting equipment and staff the remaining sites, according to a news release.
Right. Having one location where there will be massive lines and a high potential for people leaving such lines is supposed to make things easier.
Community members had to say this about the move:
“Lincoln County is a very rural county. Some people live as far as 23 miles from the city of Lincolnton,” said Denise Freeman, an activist and former Lincoln County school board member. “This is not about convenience for the citizens. This is about control. This is about the good old boys wanting to do what they’ve always done, which is power and control.”
Aunna Dennis, executive director for Common Cause Georgia, states that this is only an extension of Senate Bill 202 signed by Gov. Kemp back in March. We outlined some ways how the bill slashes voter rights here. The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year disbanding the Lincoln County Board of Elections.
“They’re trying to do this undercover precinct consolidation, so we’re going to go ahead with the canvassing drive,” Dennis said. Obtaining signatures from roughly 20% of the population of a single precinct would appear to have the effect of blocking the move, at least temporarily.
So, Lincoln County doesn’t have a transportation budget. How will the state ensure workers get to this one polling place if they don’t have a car or take time off from work? Oh wait, that would be too convenient.