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Jimmy Carter Blasts Georgia Legislature Over New Voter Suppression Bills and People Are So Here for It

Jimmy Carter Blasts Georgia Legislature Over New Voter Suppression Bills and People Are So Here for It
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

For months after losing the 2020 presidential election to now-President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump eagerly broadcast the lie that the election was "stolen" from him through widespread fraud coordinated by Democrats.

Trump and his allies filed frivolous lawsuits, held rallies, and pressured state legislatures in failed attempts to overturn the election that culminated in a mob of pro-Trump extremists storming the United States Capitol in a deadly siege.

While these efforts failed to secure another term for Trump, Republican legislatures are seizing upon the doubt they sowed, using it to pass laws suppressing the rights of millions of people—especially Black Americans—to vote.

This is particularly true in Georgia, which went blue in the presidential election last year and delivered Democrats a Senate majority with a crucial pair of runoff elections in early 2021.

Now, the state's Republican legislature is considering a slate of proposals that would dramatically reduce its people's access to the ballot, including the elimination of no-excuse absentee voting and drastic limitations to voting on the weekends.

A day after Georgia's Senate passed a bill limiting absentee voting access, Former President Jimmy Carter, a 96 year old native Georgia Democrat, issued a scathing rebuke of the proposals in a statement.

Carter wrote in part:

"[A]s our state legislators seek to turn back the clock through legislation that will restrict access to voting for many Georgians, I am disheartened, saddened, and angry. Many of the proposed changes are reactions to allegations of fraud for which no evidence was produced—allegations that were, in fact, refuted through various audits, recounts, and other measures. The proposed changes appear to be rooted in partisan interests, not in the interests of all Georgia voters."

He went on to say:

"American democracy means every eligible person has the right to vote in an election that is fair, open, and secure. It should be flexible enough to meet the electorate's changing needs. ... We must not promote confidence among one segment of the electorate by restricting the participation of others. Our goal always should be to increase, not decrease, voter participation."

People applauded Carter for speaking out.

Georgia's kneecapping of voter rights is stirring concern across the nation.

Calls are growing for Democrats in Congress to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in response to these nationwide efforts.