Spread the Vote fights voter suppression. You can help today!

Time-sensitive information Spread the Vote, a non-partisan organization that helps people get photo IDs so they can vote, is the middle of a challenge fundraiser. The goal: $20,000 in donations by May 28 (next Tuesday) to qualify for a $20,000 matching grant from a generous donor. According to the group’s founder, this will enable Spread the Vote to provide for 1,000 photo IDs. Click here to donate.  Click here to volunteer. Photo IDs and voter suppression As soon as Republicans gained control of the Georgia General Assembly in 2005, they passed a restrictive photo ID law for voting, because with great power comes great fear of losing said power. The concept was easy to sell to the public. Photo IDs prevent voter fraud, right? And…

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How many Snapfingers are enough? DeKalb Elections Board makes polling/precinct changes

Above: Yet another plea for hand-marked paper ballots ignored. Speaker: Madeleine Soloway Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Breaking News: DeKalb now has 3 (three!) Snapfinger Road precincts. And a Snapfinger Elementary Precinct. Legislative Note: The selection process for DeKalb Board of Voter Registrations and Elections members will change if Senate Bill 246, sponsored by Steve Henson and passed by the General Assembly, is signed into law by Gov. Kemp. The legislation is designed to allay concerns raised during the controversy over DeKalb’s Ethics Board: that non-government did not have authority to appoint members of public agencies in Georgia. Currently, two Board of Elections members are chosen by the local Democratic Party and two by the Republican Party; those four members choose the 5th member, considered to be…

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DeKalb Commission moves ahead with Board of Elections audit

Above: Line for early voting at Tucker Library, Oct. 27, 2019 Jonathan Grant @Brambleman DeKalb’s Board of Registrations and Elections is in drastic need of an upgrade–increased staffing and technological improvements, obviously. It has operational and leadership issues as well, as people who deal with the Board can attest. And did. Eight DeKalb residents showed up today to speak in favor of an audit and election reform. One of today’s speakers, Whitney McGinniss, made the news last fall over her absentee ballot issues in DeKalb and provided a brief recount today. As a regular Board observer, I had a few things to say, as well (see below). The audit proposal for the Board, moved forward by DeKalb County Commissioners Larry Johnson and Mereda…

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Judy’s letter to Sen. Renee Unterman re HB 481, Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill”

Text of the letter reprinted below, or click to download a pdf of Judy Grant’s Letter to Sen. Renee Unterman The Senate is on the verge of passing a bill that will put Georgia on par with Mississippi in its treatment of women’s rights and reproductive health. Sadly, both state’s have poor records on women and children’s health. But GOP legislators persist upon insisting that women do as they say. And what happened to the Equal Rights Amendment after Sen. Unterman made a big deal out of co-sponsoring equal rights for women? Trick question! Back to the main point: Judy showed me the letter she sent to legislators re HB 481, Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill.” It’s very well-reasoned, and has eleven footnotes with live links…

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Big turnout in Sandy Springs for Lucy McBath’s first open house

By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman It was a big crowd, and overwhelmingly friendly. Well over 100 people turned out Saturday morning to see Georgia’s newest member of Congress at her new district office in Sandy Springs. During her remarks, Rep. Lucy McBath said she plans at least four town halls this year, starting with one in East Cobb County in April. (I overheard a pitch from constituents to staffers for one in John’s Creek, as well.) McBath rose to national prominence as a spokesman for gun reform after her son Jordan Davis was killed at a Florida Convenience store during a dispute over loud music. Early last year, she was planning to run for the Georgia House, but decided to step onto the national…

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DeKalb legislative forum in Brookhaven draws big crowd

Above: Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver talks about election reform Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Paper ballots, no bar codes! Nearly a dozen DeKalb legislators and legislators-elect—all Democrats now—discussed issues with an attentive audience of about 100 country residents at Brookhaven City Hall Wednesday night. In response to questions about election security, Rep. Scott Holcomb told the audience he would be introducing a “Paper Ballots” measure in this year’s session, which starts Jan. 14. The state is due for an upgrade of its outdated election system, and legislators will be looking at the work of the Secretary of State’s  Secure Accessible Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission, which has been tasked to hold hearings and examine replacement voting systems, then make a recommendation to the General Assembly, which…

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