ATLANTA — Aklima Khondoker, Georgia State Director of All Voting is Local, issued the following statement in response to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston’s statements regarding Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s proposal to mail absentee ballot request forms to all voters in the state. During an interview on April 1, Ralston said vote by mail would “certainly drive up turnout” and it would be “extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.”

“It’s clear that Speaker Ralston is more concerned with maintaining Republican seats than ensuring Georgia voters have their voices heard. Building barriers to the ballot should not be a  part of the Republican blueprint, because the right to vote should never be politicized.”

“Georgia voters should not be forced to choose between their health and democracy because policymakers are prioritizing partisan politics during a pandemic.”

“Administering elections during a public health crisis is new territory for the United States. However, our leaders must find ways to allow citizens to exercise their right to vote without endangering public health. The current COVID-19 pandemic should not be leveraged to exploit our democracy, but should compel leaders to protect our citizens and our right to vote.”