SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — With election season just weeks away, voting rights are weighing heavy on the minds of local clergy, elected officials and community organizations.
Tuesday, dozens hit the streets to empower more people to get out and vote ahead of May’s midterm elections.
“That is their God-given right, and we’re in an area where a lot of the civil rights activities took place, and we fought for people to have the right to vote and now it’s being taken from away from us little by little, and if we don’t continue the fight we will lose,” explained Rep. Edna B. Jackson, (D) Georgia District 165.
Those in attendance spoke out about recently passed voting laws, like SB202 and the newly enacted HB1464, which allows the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to independently investigate future allegations regarding election fraud.
Laws they say are restrictive in keeping certain groups away from the polls, namely people of color and those who may face further challenges in reaching the polls.
“All of us stand united against those forces that are trying to reduce the vote and the voice of the people,” said Rev. Dr. Da’ Henri Thurmond, Pastor of St. Paul CME Church. “These suppressive efforts include enacting stricter voter ID laws, cutting voting times, restricting registrations and purging voter rolls.”
Moving forward, some groups are saying there’s never been a more important time to exercise your right to vote.
“I think democracy is on the line, I really do,” explained Nina Altschiller, President of the League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia. “I think the world is trending towards autocracy, I think what we see happening in Ukraine should give us a wake-up call that we have a very special thing here, it’s called Democratic process, and it’s our obligation and right to vote.”.
The Georgia Primary Election is just six weeks away, it will take place on Tuesday, May 24. Early voting begins on May 2.
There are two Saturdays that you can vote, May 7 and May 14, and one Sunday, May 8, when the polls will be open.