Advocacy is effective. Remember when Senators first voted on SB 241, it passed by just one vote because four particularly vulnerable Senators “walked” rather than vote on the measure which eliminated no-excuse absentee voting.
On Sunday evening, news of an 80-page house “Frankenbill” substitute to SB 241 began to circulate. The version of the bill posted on Sunday evening keeps no-excuse absentee voting, but still limits early voting on weekends and retains other voter suppression measures contained in the earlier approved 66-page House bill and 32-page Senate bill.
This new version of the bill was set to be discussed during a House Special Committee on Election Integrity meeting Monday afternoon. However, after shifting the time for the meeting three times before 9 am, the meeting was canceled with no current posted notice of when it will be re-scheduled.
Members of the House Special Committee on Election Integrity are:
- Barry Fleming, Chairman
- Alan Powell, Vice Chairman
- Kimberly Alexander
- Shaw Blackmon
- Rhonda Burnough
- Buddy DeLoach
- Demetrius Douglas
- Houston Gaines
- Jan Jones
- Chuck Martin
- Bonnie Rich
- Lynn Smith
- Calvin Smyre
- Rick Williams
Meanwhile, members the Senate Ethics Committee which is Chaired by Senator Max Burns WILL meet today Monday March 15 at 3:30 pm in Room 307 of the CLOB. The announced agenda includes consideration of HB 531, however, it is standard procedure for the chair of the committee to “reserve the right to revise the agenda.”
Members of the Senate Ethics Committee are listed below. Click on their names for contact info:
- Burns, Max, Chairman
- Burke, Dean, Vice Chairman
- Jones II, Harold V., Secretary
- Anavitarte, Jason
- Butler, Gloria S.
- Dugan, Mike
- Gooch, Steve
- Harbison, Ed
- Harrell, Sally
- Hatchett, Bo
- Miller, Butch
- Robertson, Randy
- Strickland, Brian
E-mails and Phone Calls:
Because of the rapidly moving nature of the discussions on these voter suppression proposals, trusting the United States Postal Service to deliver letters or postcards is not an effective way to transmit your messages of concern. Rely instead upon e-mails and phone calls.
During our Friday panel discussion of Voter Suppression Issues, former DPG Voter Protection Officer Sara Tindall Ghazal gave some great advice for advocacy efforts:
The key to effective communications is to personalize your communication rather than seeming to adopt a “cookie cutter” mass produced message.
Money talks in politics and pressure on business leaders has long been an effective tool for successfully turning back draconian Republican proposed measures in the past. Activists are focused on six Georgia Fortune 500 corporations – AFLAC, Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Southern Company and UPS. The message to leaders of these companies is that voter suppression impacts their employees AND customers. Raising your voice as a concerned citizen and consumer of their services can be a very effective way to make your voice heard.
Contact information for Corporate Leaders:
Delta: Jeff Davidman
Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs
Home Depot: Teresa Wynn Roseborough
Executive Vice President General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Government Affairs Director
Senior Vice President of External Affairs
Director of Government Relations
Rallies are being planned by various grassroots organizations including the NAACP, the New Georgia Project, and Black Voters Matter between noon and 1 pm each day Monday to Friday between now and March 31 at Liberty Plaza across from the Capitol.
Additionally, a rally is set for Monday, March 15 at 5 pm in front of the World of Coke. Organizers encourage participants to wear black t-shirts. As the legislative session draws to a close, the final decisions on these bills may be delayed until the closing bell of the session on Wednesday, March 31. Late afternoon rallies are planned on Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30.
Rally activities being coordinated by Protect The Vote Ga – check their website for the latest updates, to register for a rally and parking instructions: https://www.protectthevotega.org/contact
More Information and Inspirational Speeches by our WINning Women:
If you wish to learn more about the issue, four of our recent Women In the News programs have focused on the topic of Voter Suppression. Two programs presented edited videos of the moving speeches WIN List endorsed women gave to oppose the original bills as they were debated in the House and Senate. Links to each program :