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.
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.
Thank you, President Carter, for speaking out against these efforts to restrict access to the ballot box. The State… https://t.co/fDprqLm2SW— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock)1615337164.0
I love Jimmy Carter. He's still weighing in and standing up for democracy. The #VotingRightsAct has to be restore… https://t.co/Eh7b8T0E0n— Ashley Perry (@Ashley Perry)1615348408.0
Wise words 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 https://t.co/xdlExOKtKI— 🇺🇸Bonny Scots-Irish lass 🌏☮️🌊🌈 (@🇺🇸Bonny Scots-Irish lass 🌏☮️🌊🌈)1615319092.0
Amen! Saddened and angry are the words that describe how I feel as well. Democrats need to stop this Republican c… https://t.co/w2AiLHI3Y9— Linda Panozzo (@Linda Panozzo)1615408853.0
Pres. Carter is such an honorable, decent, and generous soul. His honesty is refreshing, and it's great hearing wha… https://t.co/4GKF1h62Rf— Dwight Miller (@Dwight Miller)1615319016.0
President Carter is right. 100% right. https://t.co/6UII6u1zhH— Erik Halvorsen (@Erik Halvorsen)1615339240.0
Georgia's kneecapping of voter rights is stirring concern across the nation.
This is the real 'Stop the Steal'. When a state legislature actively and willfully tries to disenfranchise voters,… https://t.co/m6UdJMmRYY— Michael Gravitz (@Michael Gravitz)1615320006.0
What's going on in Georgia now is absolutely enraging. Republicans in the Georgia legislature are voting to elimina… https://t.co/UNQFqYE7pK— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum)1615235747.0
If you're feeling shocked by racism in the British royal family, just wait until you hear about the bills Georgia R… https://t.co/mys20rwX1B— Georgia Democrats (@Georgia Democrats)1615232092.0
Calls are growing for Democrats in Congress to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in response to these nationwide efforts.