On the same day voting rights groups commemorated the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, news broke that some Georgia voters would receive a no-contact notice.
WXGA News in middle Georgia reported the notices were the last step before officials label a voter inactive. The outlet reported Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger ordered local agencies to send notices to 185,666 voters.
Approximately two hours south of Atlanta, WXGA reported Macon-Bibb County could lose the largest share of voters.
Fair Fight Action released a statement alleging targeted voters were disproportionately voters of color. The organization found that approximately 53 percent were voters of color, and 44 percent of all voters receiving such notices were Black.
“As Georgia moves to eliminate 185,000 voters from the rolls — mostly voters of color — the time for Congressional action has never been more urgent,” said Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo. “The For the People Act would end states’ anti-democratic use-it-or-lose-it practices, while the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would combat racial discrimination in voting. Congress must swiftly pass both these vital bills to protect all eligible voters, particularly voters of color in states like Georgia.”
The notices are the first step toward canceling the registrations of targeted voters. Fair Fight encouraged voters who receive such a notice to complete it and return it right away. Georgia is one of several states that have a use-it-or-lose-it approach to voting.
Advocates have not let up on demanding the Senate take action on voting rights. Groups like Black Voters Matter say recess can wait until the Senate passes the For the People Act and John Lewis Advancement Act.
Grassroots actions were happening across the week and into the weekend. Until Freedom led a group of activists in blocking members of congress from leaving Reagan Airport without passing the For the People Act.
The urgency of passing the For the People Act intensified with news of the Census data being released August 12, four days early. Redistricting is on the horizon and could do broad damage to fair participation in the Democratic process.
Last week during a Texas rally, former HUD Secretary Julían Castro called on President Biden to fight for voting rights and democracy with the same vigor as the infrastructure bill. On Friday, voting rights advocates gathered at the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Washington D.C. for a Freedom Friday march and protest.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has suggested the Senate could take a new vote on right rights. But Rev. Dr. William Barber tweeted that it does not point unless Schumer gets his caucus in check on the filibuster.
“No infrastructure until you vote to protect infrastructure of our democracy,” Barber said.
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