ATLANTA — Today, Georgia House Republicans took yet another step to send voting rights in Georgia back to the days of Jim Crow and forced through HB 531, moving forward on one of the strictest and most anti-democratic pieces of voter suppression legislation in the country.
HB 531 is a dangerous attempt to roll back voting rights, leading to longer lines and creating more restrictive rules for absentee ballots while limiting weekend voting and threatening Georgians’ privacy by creating new opportunities for identity theft just to request a mail-in ballot. These blatantly anti-democratic provisions would add extra hurdles for voters of color and marginalized communities — along with Republican voters who have relied on voting by mail to win states like Florida and Ohio.
This legislation may also saddle counties with enormous new costs as a result of its many unfunded mandates. By passing HB 531, Georgia Republicans could force counties to raise taxes on working families to pay for at least $-52.7 million in costs from this bill. And given its unconstitutional provisions, Georgia Republicans would force taxpayers to foot the bill for its litigation in court. Even worse, this legislation also blocks counties from receiving critical non-governmental funding that many have previously used to afford the cost of running elections while it increases their costs.
“Today, Georgia Republicans showed their allegiance to dangerous and debunked myths about ‘voter fraud’ by forcing through legislation that restricts Georgians access to the ballot box as a response to these conspiracies. It is time for all Georgians of good conscience to get off the sidelines and join the fight against the worst voter suppression since Jim Crow. These attacks on the right to vote that target voters of color and that will undermine election integrity for all clearly illuminate why we need federal action urgently to protect Georgians’ constitutional right to vote,” said Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo.