Statement By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Chicago, IL–President Trump claimed he won the presidential election in 2020 and only lost because Democrats cheated.  This is known as the “Big Lie.”

Georgia has now turned the Big Lie into a Big Law. Their argument is that there is Big Fraud in our election system and Georgia must pass a 95-page law to make our elections honest and secure.

The real reason for the law is Republicans lost the presidential race in 2020 and lost two U.S. Senate seats in 2021 and have concluded that the only way Republicans can win is to reduce those who are allowed to vote.

What’s the purpose of the Big Lie and the Big Law? Voter suppression!  What’s in this Jim Crow Big Law? In the name of election integrity, the law introduces unnecessary voter ID requirements; limits drop boxes; allows state takeovers of local elections if they don’t like what the local election workers are doing; creates obstacles for receiving absentee ballots by replacing signature identification by requiring requesters to submit driver’s license numbers or other documentation under a new process for checking their identity, when over 200,000 Georgia voters lack a driver’s license or state ID number.

It mandates that ballot drop boxes be located inside early voting locations, limiting their usefulness, and they won’t be available to voters in the last four days of an election when it’s often too late to mail them in time.

There will be as little as one week of early voting before runoffs down from the current three-week early voting period; weekend voting before general elections will be expanded with mandatory voting hours on two Saturday’s statewide and counties will retain the option to allow early voting on two Sunday’s, but early voting before runoffs will be reduced to a minimum of just one week before Election Day.

Runoffs will be held four weeks after general elections leaving little time for early voting. It cuts voting hours, restricts voter access, and covers vote counting, election over site and runoffs.

The new law sets a deadline to request absentee ballots 11 days before Election Day and disqualifies provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The final version of the bill didn’t include a proposal to end no-excuse absentee voting, which has allowed any Georgia voter to cast an absentee ballot since 2005; lawmakers backed off an effort to restrict absentee ballots to voters who are at least 65 years old, have a physical disability or are out of town, as more than one-quarter of the 5 million voters in November’s election used absentee ballots; but finally, the law makes it illegal to distribute food or water to voters waiting in line to vote.

We must pass H.R. 1, the “For The People Act” voting law that was passed in the House and is now awaiting a vote in the Senate.

The legislation passed along party lines in both chambers, with votes of 34-20 in the Senate and 100-75 in the House. This may become the voting model for the 43 states where Republicans have introduced 253 bills to suppress the vote of African Americans, other people of color, workers, seniors, young people, the disabled – in other words mostly Democrats!

The Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, became a hero of sorts by counting the 2020 presidential ballots three times resisting an attempt by President Donald Trump to cheat and deliver the state to him, but he was in the forefront when fighting for this law.

Georgia Republicans passed the law because they said there was a crisis of confidence in the Georgia election system but the result will be just the opposite. Georgia’s voting system will now have less believability!

Georgia Republicans passed the law because they said there was a crisis of confidence in the Georgia election system but the result will be just the opposite. Georgia’s voting system.

Georgia is a state with a history of denying voting rights to African Americans. This only resurrects Georgia’s sordid history. President Biden today said these voter suppression efforts by Republicans were un-American, “sick,” and the Republicans voters he knew will not stand for it.

Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.

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