What Nathan Deal Thinks about Voting Rights
Today is the deadline to register to vote in the May 20 primary election.
Our position on voting rights is very clear: we have to ensure that every eligible voter can register, that every registered voter can vote, and that every vote is accurately counted.
That’s why we’re proud that Democratic candidate for Governor, Sen. Jason Carter, is a true voting rights advocate. As a lawyer, he did pro bono work on a legal challenge to a Republican-backed voter ID law. The service earned him the Stuart Eizenstat Young Lawyer Award from the Anti-Defamation League. As a Georgia Senator, he has fought for increased access to the ballot and against an overly partisan gerrymandering of our legislative and congressional districts.
Today, Sen. Jason Carter said, “The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. Civil rights icons like Martin Luther King and John Lewis fought hard to make sure that every eligible voter could cast their ballot without impediment, and it’s up to us to defend and build upon that progress.”
Georgia Republicans have a drastically different take on voting rights. Since Gov. Nathan Deal took office, the GA GOP has led the charge to limit your rights, making the process more complicated and creating barriers like voter-ID laws that prevent too many Georgians from casting a ballot. Just this year, Republicans attempted to shorten early voting from twenty-one days to six days.
And what are Nathan Deal’s personal views on voting rights? Here’s what he said about discriminatory voter-ID laws:
“We got all the complaints of the ghetto grandmothers who didn’t have birth certificates and all that. We wrote some very liberal language as to how you can verify it. My mother was born in 1906 and she didn’t have a birth certificate. They didn’t give birth certificates back then. But we got her one, because you can do it under the proper procedures of your state.”
For many Georgia voters, obtaining the ID needed to cast their vote is difficult. In fact, more than 16 percent of voting-age Georgians live more than ten miles from a state-ID issuing office and have no access to a vehicle.
Sen. Carter and Georgia Democrats believe your right to vote is sacred and we will continue to seek out ways to expand ballot access to all those who are eligible to register and to vote.