For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 25, 2021
HB 531 proposes harmful changes to nearly every aspect of Georgia’s election system and would have devastating consequences for voting in Georgia
Georgia — Today, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus held a press conference denouncing the anti-voter omnibus bill introduced last week by state Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), HB 531. This bill was designed to severely restrict voting rights in Georgia and would have devastating consequences, particularly for Black voters who already face the greatest barriers to voting and would be disproportionately disenfranchised by the proposed restrictions.
HB 531 is a transparently partisan response to historic voter turnout in the 2020 presidential and 2021 Senate runoff elections, which saw a majority of Georgians turn out in support of Democratic President Joe Biden and U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The sweeping 48-page bill would eliminate Sunday voting, add unnecessary photo ID requirements to vote by mail—putting voters at an increased risk of identity theft—and would ban and criminalize offering food or water to voters waiting in hours-long lines, among other restrictions.
NARAL Pro-Choice America State Campaigns Director Chrystian Woods said:
“The connection between reproductive freedom and protecting the right to vote is clear: Without fair and accessible elections, we can’t elect leaders who represent the values of the majority of Georgians who support our fundamental rights. This bill is a transparent attempt to push access to the ballot box as far out of reach as possible and silence the voices of Black voters and other communities of color. NARAL and our more than 54,000 members across Georgia stand in solidarity with the Legislative Black Caucus in opposing this blatant ploy by Republican politicians to thwart democracy and disenfranchise thousands of Georgia voters. It’s incumbent upon all of us to stand together and protect the freedom to vote here in Georgia and across the country.”
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.