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GOP voter suppression tactics are blowing up in their face in Georgia: report

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Long line to vote in Atlanta, Georgia (screengrab)

On Monday, Politico reported that Republican efforts to suppress Black votes in Georgia are backfiring, as anger over the GOP assaults on democracy trigger record levels of civic engagement in the state and throughout the Black community.

“In the shadows of billboards along I-85 and I-20 encouraging Atlantans to ‘VOTE EARLY,’ barriers to that act loom large,” reported Maya King. “There were reminders of this again during June’s egregious primary election: In populous, rapidly diversifying metro Atlanta counties like Fulton and Cobb, wait times extended up to six hours after polling locations were consolidated during the pandemic. The state’s new electronic voting machines also frequently malfunctioned, further slowing the ballot casting process.”

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“Voters interviewed by POLITICO said anger over perceived voter suppression tactics is fueling their eagerness to cast early ballots,” continued the report. “And indeed, Georgians are voting in numbers never seen before in the state’s history. Since Oct. 12, the first day of early voting, a staggering 2.7 million voters have cast a ballot — a nearly 110 percent increase from 2016. Beyond that, Democrats are organizing caravans, volunteering as election workers and serving as poll watchers. This level of enthusiasm is also a reflection of apprehension about the election: Voters here are turning out in waves.”

Aurelia Gray, a voter in the Atlanta metro area, is one of many who was inspired to action by recent events, volunteering as a poll worker.

“Gray wasn’t the only one moved to volunteer,” said the report. “So many people signed up to help at Gray’s troubled polling place she was assigned to a different location. The precinct where she works now has wait times under an hour since the second week of early voting, thanks to a lower volume of voters and slew of young poll workers hired in Fulton County in response to June’s debacle.”

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