Georgia State Senator Mike Dugan speaks to legislators inside the General Assembly.
Caption
Georgia State Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) presents Senate Bill 241, which changes Georgia's voting laws, March 8, 2021, in Atlanta.
Credit: Ben Gray, AP Photo

Wednesday on Political Rewind: All adults in Georgia will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning this week. Gov. Brian Kemp said the dramatic expansion on Thursday is the state’s ticket back to normalcy.

But the vaccine continues to be administered unequally across the state. Black communities remain disproportionately under-vaccinated, as do rural communities. CHNI reporter Riley Bunch says the disparity is, at least in part, related to a lack of access to health care in rural parts of the state.

"Rural health care in Georgia has been a significant challenge for a really long time," Bunch said. "Hospitals have closed time and time and again. And in the communities where they do not have access to health care, where they do not have a hospital that they trust, I think its it's clear that there is some vaccine hesitancy."

In the state Capitol, voter restrictions bills proposed by Republican lawmakers continue to change as the legislation is debated. A measure restricting Sunday voting is now off the table, but stricter voter identification rules and a restriction of ballot boxes remain part of discussions. 

Panelists:

Greg Bluestein — Politics Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Riley Bunch — Statehouse Reporter, CNHI News

Jeremiah Olney — Democratic Strategist

Julie Smith — Mayor of Tifton, Ga.