|Please note the following piece this week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that showcases new Georgia proposals that would END no-excuse absentee voting and automatic voter registration.Below is an op-ed by AME Georgia Bishop Reginald Jackson – published on Sunday, January 24th- addressing this exact issue. |
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson is presiding prelate of the 6th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), which comprises 534 Georgia churches, totaling more than 90,000 parishioners. He also directed Georgia’s “Operation Voter Turnout,” the State’s nonpartisan coalition that activated every member of the AME’s statewide congregation and united Jewish, Muslim, Baptist, Protestant, and other faith-based communities throughout the State to create a “voting support delivery system, bring record turnout by to Georgia during the November and January elections.
If you are interested in speaking to the Bishop to learn more about what is NOW happening in Georgia – please contact Matthew Frankel at [email protected] or 917.617.7914.
Atlanta Journal ConstitutionOpinion: Truth must inform Ga.’s political debates now
Jan 23, 2021
By Reginald T. Jackson
Just days into a New Year, it is clear we continue to live through challenging times. However, there is a ray of light that provides our neighborhoods and communities with hope. Twice now, in just two months, in the middle of the sheer chaos that has wrapped itself around both our country and our state, Democrats and Republicans have come together in historic numbers to vote.And while almost half of our state may be disappointed in Jan. 5′s runoff election results, let us not forget that amidst a global pandemic, extreme threats of violence, and even intimidation by the President of the United States, our elections went without incident and with a record number of voters participating.
It might be hard to see during this historic moment in our history, but participation and engagement are the foundations to our democracy and can serve as the needed vaccine for what ails us all. It is now our choice to allow our success to inspire us to move forward or to revert to the old tactics that have long hurt the cause of freedom.
This month, the 2021 session of the Georgia General Assembly began, and some Republicans have already announced their intention to submit legislation to change Georgia’s voting laws. Specifically, they have called to dramatically minimize absentee voting and limit use of absentee ballot boxes.
These elected leaders want to now change Georgia’s current laws to “reduce voter fraud” and restore “the people’s confidence” in our elections’ “integrity”. This claim is based on a false and premeditated narrative that holds no factual or legal truth.
Thankfully, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston have shown their opposition to this legislation. Their principled leadership, along with Democrats and a large majority of voters throughout Georgia, will fight hard to ensure this legislation does not become law.
Our state has been through a great deal. It has been a tough year, and 2021 so far looks to be just as challenging. We must address the real problems plaguing our state.
To begin this work, it is incumbent that Republican legislators, those who support this new voter suppression and even those who choose just to remain silent, admit the truth. These proposed changes are not because of “voter fraud.” There has been no evidence of voter fraud in the November or runoff election. Let’s also remember, it was a Republican-controlled General Assembly that passed the current laws under the guise of wanting to make it easier for more people to vote.
What we are seeing once again is a false narrative and reaction to Blacks, people of color, and younger voters – all whom now see a calling to vote and participate in our electoral process. That is the truth behind this new voting proposal and the whole state knows it.
If there is anything we can learn from the last four years, it is that our discourse must change and that starts with telling the truth and being transparent with our motives.
We have a great deal of work to do together, from rebuilding our economy to addressing the many state needs, such as those related to COVID-19 and continuing to grow voter participation. We can’t prioritize these and other important endeavors if a contingent continues to attempt to control our state’s narrative through unsubstantiated fear-activating tactics….
TO FINISH READING THE BISHOP’S OPED – PLEASE CLICK HERE