Anti-voting bill would enable GOP to usurp power following recent Democratic victories in one of the fastest growing, most diverse counties in Georgia
ATLANTA — Following Georgia Republicans’ passage of anti-voting bill SB 202 in 2021, GOP lawmakers have returned to this year’s legislative session to continue their voter suppression machinations. Now, Republican state Senator Clint Dixon is leading the charge on SB 369, which would target Gwinnett County’s Board of Education by shifting it to nonpartisan elections just about four years after a diverse Democratic majority won control of the Board.
With burgeoning population growth and some of the most diverse communities in Georgia, Gwinnett County Democrats have made strong gains in recent elections in a once reliably Republican bastion. In turn, Republicans have worked overtime to try and force through bills such as SB 369, which would not only make school board elections in the county non-partisan, but in effect move the election date months before the general election.
“Instead of working to serve the diversifying communities in Gwinnett County, and fully-funding Georgia’s public schools, Georgia Republicans are instead once again returning to their voter suppression playbook to silence voters of color and hold onto their waning power,” said Fair Fight Action Organizing Director Hillary Holley. “This anti-voting legislation is a continuation of their attempts to institutionalize and codify discrimination at the ballot box. While Republicans play politics with children’s public education, Fair Fight Action will continue to fight for the people of Gwinnett County to choose their leaders in free and fair elections.”
Read more insights from the AJC below:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Bill making Gwinnett school board elections nonpartisan advances
By Ty Tagami
January 28, 2022
- “The legislation by Gwinnett Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford, comes after control of his county’s school board flipped to Democrats following many years of Republican control.”
- “Gwinnett moved toward Democrats in 2016, voting for Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid and then for Stacey Abrams’ 2018 campaign for governor. The loss of Republican control over the school board led to the ouster last year of longtime Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks almost a year before his contract was to end.”
- “Gwinnett County school board member Tarece Johnson spoke against Senate Bill 369 on Thursday. She questioned its timing after her party’s victories in Gwinnett and said it would result in lower voter turnout since nonpartisan elections are held months before general elections.”
- “She said SB 369 is a GOP push to ‘usurp” power,’ ‘targeting people of color and attempting to suppress their vote, erase their historical truths and censor diverse perspectives.’ Johnson said she was speaking for herself rather than as the Gwinnett school board’s new chair.”