Rep. John Lewis Denounces Potential Voter Suppression Efforts in Georgia

Sep 12, 2014

                "It is unbelievable to me that the Governor Nathan Deal and a State Senator Fran Millar would advocate legislative action that would make it harder and more difficult for any person to vote. And it is not right for the Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to suggest something is wrong with voter registration efforts that encourage Democrats or minorities to vote. These public officials are proposing to engage in a deliberate systematic attempt to suppress the vote in our state.

           "It is unreal that almost 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, there are individuals who want to take us back to another period by suggesting that only the wealthy or those with formal education deserve to have a voice in our society. We have covered too much ground to go back to this way of thinking. Too many people suffered and died for the right to vote in this country, and those efforts opened opportunity to men without property, women, and minorities who were all disenfranchised when this nation came into being. We have come too far to turn back now.

            "It should not matter whether you are black or white, Latino, Asian or Native American. The size of your wallet or the digits in your zip code should not matter.   We all have an equal right to participate in the democratic process. The vote is precious, almost sacred, and what these officials are suggesting should be enough reason to make sure each and every one of us goes to the polls on election day. We must not let a few silence the voices of many taxpayers and citizens of this state.   We should be making it simple and easier to vote in Georgia, not more difficult."                                         

            It is important to note that the Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp also recently filed charges of fraud against the state Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and the New Georgia Project for voter registration efforts he alleges were fraudulent. Abrams has said she was surprised by the announcement since the Secretary of State was consulted during the process. She has won the backing of the Georgia NAACP which has questioned whether these charges are actually voter suppression efforts.