ATLANTA — Yesterday, Republican State Representative Barry Fleming continued pushing his extreme voter suppression and elections takeover legislation by admitting to his and his fellow Georgia Republicans’ reckless power grab, claiming “we decide how we will actually be elected” and dismissing concerns about “an unprecedented shift in elections administration to the Republican-controlled Legislature.”
And when voting rights advocate Sara Tindall Ghazal pointed out that legislators “frequently do not maintain that power [to control elections] themselves,” Fleming made it clear that he had no concerns about a massive elections power grab for partisan politicians, claiming “We can if we want to.”
Rep. Fleming: “So we as legislators decide how we will actually be elected because we decide our own board of elections and those of the counties which we’re elected from, correct?
Attorney Sara Tindall Ghazal: “But they frequently do not maintain that power themselves.”
Fleming: “We can if we want to and sometimes we do.”
Under Fleming’s substitute for SB 202, the state legislature could effectively control the majority of the State Elections Board while stripping the Secretary of State’s office of any authority on the panel and even transferring some powers directly to the state legislature itself. It would even allow the state legislature to initiate takeovers of county boards of election, giving partisan lawmakers unprecedented control over our electoral institutions.
Fleming himself has a long history of racist voter suppression tactics, including defending his county’s practice of sending deputy sheriffs to the homes of Black voters to question their voting eligibility.