On National Voter Registration Day, Georgians called out Gov. Brian Kemp’s history of voter suppression and encouraged folks to register and make a plan to vote ahead of Election Day. Speakers discussed their firsthand accounts of Kemp’s use of government authority as secretary of state and governor to investigate voting rights advocates, intimidate voters, and empower thousands of Georgians’ voter registration status to be challenged less than two weeks before the 2022 primary election.
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“We’re here today, on National Voter Registration Day, to talk about the importance of making your voice heard at the ballot box. Brian Kemp has used his authority to systematically target Black Georgians, like me, to try and block us from making our voices heard at the ballot box. I’m intimately familiar with the governor’s dirty tactics because I’ve been targeted by him directly. This is a governor who has shown he will work to silence your voice and suppress your vote. So here’s what we’ve got to do — show up, turn out, and make our voices heard. Encourage your family, your friends, and your neighbors to check their voter registration by October 11th. Go to iWillVote.com. It’s the only way to make sure your voice is heard,” stated Douglas City Commissioner Olivia Coley-Pearson.
“Our right to vote is foundational to our freedom. But it’s not always guaranteed – we’ve seen that over the course of history and even more recently right here in Georgia. Ever since he was elected to office, Brian Kemp has leveraged his government power to try and stop us from making our voices heard. Brian Kemp’s legacy of intimidation and voter suppression lives on in those like me, who have faced threats, attacks, and prosecution simply for engaging our communities and educating our fellow Georgians about voting, voter registration, and their rights. Early voting starts October 17th, and we’re encouraging everyone to go to the polls in that first week of early voting. Georgians must make their voices heard and vote out Brian Kemp to preserve our democracy, stand up for our communities, and reject this racist fear mongering and intimidation. So Georgia: make a plan to vote early. Bring folks with you. And let’s kick these voter suppressors out of office,” said former Quitman Mayor Dr. Nancy Dennard.
“Kemp’s new voting law, one of the most blatant and aggressive voter suppression laws in the country, has led to thousands of voters’ registration status being challenged right here in Forsyth County, including a challenge of over 13,000 voters just two weeks before the May 2022 primary election. Eligible voters should not be made to feel confused and scared, and to jump through hoops to prove they’re indeed eligible. This is just one portion of the anti-voter rules Brian Kemp spearheaded in Georgia — he helped set the national stage for Big Lie-fueled anti-voter laws after Biden’s win. It is absolutely crucial that on National Voter Registration Day we remind Georgia voters of Brian Kemp’s anti-democracy, anti-voter, and anti-freedom record. And it’s crucial we encourage everyone to check their voter registration before the October 11th deadline, which is now just weeks away. The best way to combat voter suppression is to vote the suppressors out of office,” shared Melissa Clink, Chair of the Forsyth County Democrats.
Speakers’ biographical information can be found at the end of this web page.
On National Voter Registration Day, Georgia Democrats are encouraging everyone to check their voter registration status ahead of the October 11 voter registration deadline. Visit IWillVote.com to check your status today. Georgia Democrats are also reminding folks that early voting is the best way to make sure your vote is counted ahead of election day and allows voters to avoid long lines when making their way to the ballot box.
Brian Kemp has consistently put his own political career over our democracy and our right to vote:
Commissioner Olivia Coley-Pearson, the first Black woman elected to the Douglas City Commission, faced a three-year investigation by the State Election Board (chaired by Kemp who was secretary of state at the time) for helping a first-time voter understand how to use a voting machine. She was later acquitted of all charges.
Former Quitman Mayor Dr. Nancy Dennard was part of a group of Black women known as the Quitman 10+2 who then-Secretary of State Kemp launched an investigation against after they organized to flip the majority-white school board. Kemp sent armed investigators door-to-door in Black neighborhoods to arrest and charge the women, despite having no evidence of voter fraud. After four years of facing charges over small “breaches of absentee ballot procedure,” all charges were dropped. Members of the Quitman 10+2 contemplated suicide and some older Black voters did not return to the polls.
Melissa Clink, Chair of the Forsyth County Democrats, has seen firsthand the impacts of Kemp’s new anti-voter law, SB 202, which has led to thousands of voters’ registration status being challenged in her county, including a challenge of over 13,000 voters two weeks before the May 2022 primary election.