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Racial Equity Groups Mobilize In Support of Voting Rights Act Hearings

Atlanta Event 2nd in Series of National Hearings to Restore Voting Rights

On Tuesday, February 19, all eyes will be on Georgia when the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration holds its “Field Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration in Georgia.”

Scheduled for 9:30 AM EST at the Carter Center (435 John Lewis Freedom Parkway NE) in Atlanta, the event will shine a light on the need for the full restoration of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), particularly in Georgia, the epicenter of numerous voter fraud allegations during the recent midterm elections. Among those scheduled to testify are Stacey Abrams, CEO and Founder of Fair Fight Action former House Democratic Leader and Georgia House of Representatives, Gilda Daniels, Director of Litigation at Advancement Project’s National Office, Phyllis Blake, President of the NAACP Georgia State Conference and others.

Chaired by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee held its first hearing in Brownsville, Texas last month as part of a series of “Listening Sessions and Field Hearings on Voting Rights and Elections” to draw attention to the erosion of equal access to voting after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder. The committee is slated to host additional hearings in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, North Dakota, and Shelby County, Alabama with dates and supplementary locations through April/May 2019 to be determined.

Adding its support to these hearings is a broad-based collection of racial equity organizations funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The groups — Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League, Race Forward and UnidosUS – are reaching into the communities they represent to ensure voices of color are heard during these hearings.

The racial equity groups’ have a formal partnership, working collaboratively over the past 5-7 years to clear barriers to the ballot box, champion the humanity of undocumented communities and communities of color, stop mass incarceration and end the criminalization of Native, Black and Latino communities.

Many see a key part of championing these issues lays in the complete restoration of the VRA as the best means to combat the countless attacks on the integrity of the vote and attempts to dilute the voting power of communities of color.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, less than 24 hours after the 2013 Shelby Supreme Court ruling gutted the VRA, states began to enact laws to suppress the vote.

A 2019 report released by the Pew Research Center shows the 2020 electorate will be the nation’s most diverse yet. One-third of all eligible voters will be voters of color – a new high. Many of these voters will be young, first-generation Americans, or recently naturalized citizens. A weak VRA could be disastrous for communities of color in the trek toward the 2020 election cycle and 2020 Census.

Expert witnesses, leadership from the New Georgia Project, NAACP and Georgia voters will be available for interviews immediately following the hearing at 11:30 a.m.

For more information about these hearings and how to participate, visit here.

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