An illustration of a ballot box behind chains.
Credit: Sam Bermas-Dawes, GPB News

Wednesday on Political Rewind: Religious leaders representing more than 1,000 churches staged a voting rights rally at the state Capitol yesterday. They said Georgia’s new election laws is proof Congress must act at the federal level to protect voter access, especially in minority communities.

Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are facing resistance from Republicans as they work to pass election reform measures, including a bill named for the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

Our panel discussed how more restrictive election laws, passed in Georgia and many other GOP-led states, can ultimately affect turnout. Emory University's Dr. Bernard Fraga said it is difficult to measure the influence of individual provisions, such as changes to the operating times of polling locations or absentee ballot rules.

"All of these [measures] might interact with each other to depress turnout among certain groups or depress turnout overall, even though a single provision, in isolation, might not have much of a detectable effect," Fraga said.

In other news today, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed filed paperwork necessary to run in this year's mayoral race.


Dr. Bernard Fraga — Professor of Political Science, Emory University

Rep. Sam Park —  State Representative (D-Gwinnett County)

Mayor Julie Smith — Mayor of Tifton

Greg Bluestein — Politics Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution