Voter Suppression after the Voting Rights Act

" Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have To Wait in Line for Hours? Too Few Polling Places"

Georgia got 2 million more voters since 2013. As a result, the state cut polling places by 10%!

" In Georgia, considered a battleground state for control of the White House and U.S. Senate, the difficulty of voting in Black communities like Union City could possibly tip the results on Nov. 3. With massive turnout expected, lines could be even longer than they were for the primary, despite a rise in mail-in voting and Georgians already turning out by the hundreds of thousands to cast ballots early.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision in 2013 eliminated key federal oversight of election decisions in states with histories of discrimination, Georgia’s voter rolls have grown by nearly 2 million people, yet polling locations have been cut statewide by nearly 10%, according to an analysis of state and local records by Georgia Public Broadcasting and ProPublica. Much of the growth has been fueled by younger, nonwhite voters, especially in nine metro Atlanta counties, where four out of five new voters were nonwhite, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office.

The metro Atlanta area has been hit particularly hard. The nine counties — Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, DeKalb, Cobb, Hall, Cherokee, Henry and Clayton — have nearly half of the state’s active voters but only 38% of the polling places, according to the analysis.

As a result, the average number of voters packed into each polling location in those counties grew by nearly 40%, from about 2,600 in 2012 to more than 3,600 per polling place as of Oct. 9, the analysis shows. In addition, a last-minute push that opened more than 90 polling places just weeks before the November election has left many voters uncertain about where to vote or how long they might wait to cast a ballot."

Would you wait in line 6 hours to vote? Guess what kind of folks often have to!

People who can least afford to do so - the poor - minorities, those who can’t take that sort of time out of work.

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The folks running GA understand the effect of fewer polling places.

" Georgia’s state leadership and elections officials have largely ignored complaints about poll consolidations even as they tout record growth in voter registration. As secretary of state from 2010 to 2018, when most of Georgia’s poll closures occurred, Brian Kemp, now the governor, took a laissez-faire attitude toward county-run election practices, save for a 2015 document that spelled out methods officials could use to shutter polling places to show “how the change can benefit voters and the public interest.”

Kemp’s office declined to comment Thursday on the letter or why poll closures went unchallenged by state officials. His spokesperson referred back to his previous statements that he did not encourage officials to close polling places but merely offered guidance on how to follow the law.

The inaction has left Black voters in Georgia facing barriers reminiscent of Jim Crow laws, said Adrienne Jones, a political science professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta who has studied the impact of the landmark Shelby decision on Black voters.

Voter suppression “is happening with these voter impediments that are being imposed,” Jones said.

“You’re closing down polling places so people have a more difficult time getting there. You’re making vote-by-mail difficult or confusing. Now we’re in court arguing about which ballots are going to be accepted, and it means that people have less trust in our state.”"

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We have fifty states, thousand of counties, and finding a way to make voting easy is as simple as not being stupid. Any place that still has voting lines like this in this day and age has the wrong local elected officials. I can’t believe people put up with this from their local officials.

Our solution to accommodate COVID, distance, ballot protection, everything was simple. We added one more week to early voting. Problem solved. We are even able to provide drive up voting for those that need it. So what if we only have on drop of spot for mail in ballots, apart from every mail box in the state?

We may or may not have had poll watchers. They kept their distance, had a low profile, and no cell phone.

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