U.S. House Dems Hold Hearing On Voting In Ga.

Feb 19, 2019

A Democrat-led U.S. House subcommittee dealing with elections heard testimony on voting rights in Georgia Tuesday. 

The "Field Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration in Georgia" met at the Carter Center, and featured testimony from the ACLU of Georgia, a Fulton County voter and former gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, among others. 

It's the second in a series of hearings conducted by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) that aim to gather evidence toward an eventual push to strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Shelby v. Holder, nixed a provision of the act that required certain states to obtain pre-clearance to make certain election changes.

In prepared remarks, Abrams said that Georgia's troubles with elections has only hastened since that decision. 

"Incompetence and malfeasance operate in tandem," Abrams said. "And the sheer complexity of the state's voting apparatus smooths voter suppression into a nearly seamless system that targets voter registration, ballot access and ballot counting."

Abrams' new voting rights group Fair Fight Action is suing Georgia over virtually every aspect of the state's current voting system, and is holding a voter town hall tomorrow in continued efforts to lobby lawmakers to make changes.

Fulton County voter Stacey Hopkins testified about her experience facing removal from the voting rolls despite being an active voter, and said the federal government needs to step in.

"The state of our elections and voting rights is a dire emergency and a crisis of voter confidence," she said. "We have sent out the warning signs for years ... I am asking Congress to intervene to answer this call in order to protect and defend what was so hard fought for, and many of us thought won."

Georgia Democrats Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson and John Lewis were in attendance. The Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), was not present, and no Republicans were asked to testify.