Georgia Legislature Pushing “Election Criminalization Bill” To Intimidate Voters

Governor Brian Kemp and politicians in the Georgia state legislature have already created barriers to voting through S.B. 202
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Photos: Common Cause\Black Voters Matter

ATLANTA – (TODAY) March 10th, 2022 – The Georgia State House advanced a new “Election Criminalization Bill”, H.B. 1464, through committee that will designate the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) to enforce Georgia’s anti-voter bill, S.B. 202.The state legislature introduced a new omnibus package to H.B. 1464 yesterday just two hours before the committee hearing that will create barriers for election administrations to receive private financial assistance and create new burdens on election administrators through the performance review process. Those new provisions, in combination with S.B. 202, will continue to create barriers to voting for all Georgians, especially voters of color.

H.B. 1464, must pass through the House before the March 15th Crossover deadline to be eligible to become law this legislative session.

The following statement is from Isabel Otero, Georgia policy director with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Action Fund:

“Governor Brian Kemp and politicians in the Georgia state legislature have already created barriers to voting through S.B. 202. Now, they are further diminishing the voices of voters through an Election Criminalization bill, H.B. 1464, and a 40-page package of election law changes introduced two hours before the committee hearing.

“S.B. 202 created new barriers to voting and opportunities for enemies of democracy to harass individual voters with false allegations. H.B. 1464 designates the GBI to investigate those voters instead of the Secretary of State, who already had that capacity.

“Any misinformation Governor Kemp and politicians in the legislature may use to defend their maneuvers represent nothing but a trojan horse for their real goal: to hijack state agencies and use them to undermine democracy and diminish the voices of Georgia voters.

“It’s wrong for politicians in Georgia to force voters to worry about being investigated by the GBI for actions as simple as helping their neighbor vote. These attempts by politicians to create barriers to voting will continue hijacking funds that should be invested in communities for fixing roads, improving local schools, and making the voting process more accessible. Worse still, the state legislature gave the public only two hours’ notice before introducing measures that would strip additional funding from their local election infrastructure while adding new burdens to officials.

“Governor Kemp and politicians in the state legislature should invest in our communities and facilitate Georgians making their voices heard. Unfortunately, they continue their attacks on democracy itself through anti-voter laws like H.B. 1464 and by blocking the public from providing meaningful input on such consequential legislation. The SPLC Action Fund will continue to stand with Georgia voters and oppose these new efforts to harass and intimidate Georgians exercising their right to vote.”

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