Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the American Civil Liberties of Georgia and the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, sent a letter to the Georgia General Assembly to oppose Senate Bill 363, which, if enacted, will significantly suppress minority voter participation. If this bill is passed, Election Day voting hours in Atlanta, a majority Black city, will be cut by an hour. The House version of the bill, already passed out of committee early this month, also effectively eliminates early voting during the Sunday before Election Day, widely known in Georgia as a time when Black voters worship together before sharing rides to the polls.
Georgia should be working to provide more voting opportunities for its citizens, not less. This recent bill is part of an unfortunate pattern of the effort to roll back early voting opportunities for the past several years. LDF and others helped to defeat stark cuts to early voting in two successive legislative sessions in both 2014 and 2015. As nonprofit, nonpartisan civil rights and advocacy organizations, our collective goal is to ensure that all voters, particularly voters of color, have full, equal and active access to the ballot box and to elect candidates of their choice. LDF is optimistic that we’ll defeat this discriminatory bill, but we are also prepared to take decisive, public action if this proposed legislation becomes law.
Read our joint letter in full.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.