The Georgia NAACP, the NAACP Authorized Protection Fund, and 4 different nonprofit and advocacy organizations sent a letter to each elected and county elections officers in Cobb County informing them that the deliberate closure might probably suppress the Black and Latino vote within the county. “Whereas these closures are prone to adversely have an effect on many Cobb County voters, we’re particularly involved that these closures might be dangerous to Cobb County’s Black and Latinx voters as a result of most of the areas are in Black and Latinx communities,” the organizations mentioned within the letter.
They went on to state:
“Advance voting alternatives are very important to making sure voters can safely, securely, and freely take part in our democracy. The COVID-19 pandemic, which is ravaging the nation, has had extraordinarily harsh results in Black and Latinx communities and makes in-person voting on Election Day an untenable choice for a lot of voters. Furthermore, resulting from widespread considerations with the reliability of america Postal Service, many citizens should not comfy requesting or casting absentee ballots by mail. As demonstrated by the document turnout throughout the advance voting interval for the 2020 basic election, advance voting is the one acceptable choice for secure and safe voting for a lot of voters.”
Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler mentioned throughout a county legislative delegation assembly on December 1 her division has struggled to employees polling websites throughout the winter vacation, in keeping with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which initially reported the information. “We simply might solely employees the 5 areas,” Eveler mentioned.
So native voting rights staff supplied to assist. “These considerations will be simply addressed and our organizations stand able to offer you any help you require, together with assist recruiting and coaching ballot staff or ballot managers,” activists mentioned within the letter. It was signed by representatives from the state NAACP, the NAACP Authorized Protection Fund, All Voting is Native Georgia, the Southern Poverty Legislation Middle Motion Fund, Black Voters Matter Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.
LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, mentioned she predicted that election officers would begin closing polls in Georgia when she appeared on MSNBC over the weekend. She mentioned to viewers on her Twitter timeline Tuesday that it’s not that she’s psychic. “It’s simply that the Republicans are fairly constant about two issues—racism and voter suppression,” she mentioned. Brown advised viewers to “concentrate” as a result of “these people are actually making an attempt to steal, actually and undermine democracy.”
Cobb County election officers advised WABE radio, Atlanta’s NPR affiliate, that it’ll add two extra early voting websites again and alter the situation of one other web site. The brand new ballot areas might be on the Smyrna Neighborhood Middle and the Arts Place-Mountain View artwork middle. The location on the Ward Recreation Middle will as a substitute transfer to the Ron Anderson Neighborhood Middle in Powder Springs.
The NAACP Authorized Protection Fund mentioned in a press release Wednesday that the adjustments are “not optimum” however “substantial enhancements over the unique plan.” Michael Pernick, the Georgia state lead with the Protection Fund, referred to as the Ron Anderson Neighborhood Middle and Smyrna Neighborhood Middle “key early voting websites for voters of shade.”
“Forward of the Jan. 5, 2021 runoff election, we encourage Georgia voters to confirm their early voting websites and poll drop off areas, and to make a voting plan,” he added. “As at all times, LDF will proceed to carry officers accountable for guaranteeing that elections are secure, truthful, and accessible to all voters.”