ATLANTA — Aklima Khondoker, All Voting is Local Georgia state director, issued the following statement on Georgia’s June 9 primary, where—due to a lack of statewide elections procedures, widespread polling place closures, a backlog of absentee ballot requests, and machine breakdowns—voters were barred from turning in their ballots and are still waiting in lines as long as five hours to vote:
“These devastating barriers to voting were avoidable. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and State Election Board members failed voters and our democracy. Despite repeated calls by advocates to ensure adequate resources at the polls, fix ballot problems, and provide paper backups for faulty voting machines, Raffensperger neglected his obligation to protect voters’ rights and ensure their safety.
“The disenfranchisement today was unconscionable, but not surprising. Georgia has an ugly history of silencing voters at the polls. Raffensperger and state officials have starved counties of the resources they need to carry out elections. We can’t afford another election tragedy. We won’t stop demanding that Raffensperger and state election officials act now to make sure every voter can cast a ballot that counts in November and beyond. Our democracy is at stake.”
In recent years, state officials have doubled down on anti-democratic tactics, including: discriminatory voter purges, widespread polling place closures, and selective signature match requirements harming Black and low-income voters most.