The Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials is worried about efforts in the state to suppress minority voting. The association is meeting in Savannah this weekend to talk about how to protect voters’ rights.
President Tyrone Brooks says voter suppression is one of the biggest challenges facing minorities in Georgia. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act last year, Brooks says there have been many attempts in Georgia to turn back the clock.
“At-large voting is one of those, and closing down precincts in neighborhoods and making it more difficult for citizens to have access to their precincts,” said Brooks. “We see people turned back at polling precincts, simply because they don’t have the proper I.D.”
Before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that key part of the Voting Rights Act, Brooks says all voters had to do to question an election was file a complaint with a letter. Now, they have to hire a lawyer, which can be expensive.
“And until Congress and the White House can agree that there’s going to be a new formula going forward with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, we’re going to see more and more attempts to turn back the tide in terms of voting.”
Brooks says requiring voters to provide IDs and shortening early voting periods have hurt minority voting in Georgia.