Conservative Black Leaders Send Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Regarding Georgia's Voting Reforms

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Last week, I was honored to be a signatory, along with twenty other Black conservative leaders, on a letter sent to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Georgia’s new voting reforms. This letter was sent to the Judiciary Committee while Congress is considering the highly controversial  H.R.1 – ”For the People Act of 2021.Below is an excerpt from that letter:

Sadly, the public discourse about Georgia’s new voting reforms has not been civil, fair, nor honest. Politically motivated attacks against the new law have generated much heat, but little light. We do not challenge the goodwill of the vast majority of the participants in this needlessly overwrought drama playing out. But we take great issue with the manner in which opponents of these reforms have operated. It has become clear that even well-intentioned critics of the law simply have no idea what the law is. It is clear they have no idea how favorably Georgia’s new law compares with most other states – including President Biden’s home state of Delaware. And it is clear they have no idea that a majority of Black voters across the country support the key provision under attack by critics – the simple requirement that voters be able to identify themselves when voting.

This is the same simple requirement needed to pick up baseball tickets or board a plane – activities hardly as important as voting. Instead, critics of the law have substituted passion for reason, hysteria for judgment. They have launched a despicable smear campaign against supporters of the law and economic reprisals against the state of Georgia – punishing the very people they claim to champion. They have tarred with the brush of racism people whose only sin is a desire for confidence in our elections. It’s time to end these campaigns of misinformation, division, and hate. People of goodwill must find ways to expand voter access for all Americans, strengthen the security and integrity of our election process, and do so in a way that sees civil, respectful discourse between those who disagree. 

While Georgia’s new voting reforms aren’t really controversial at all — except to people who want to cheat —  H.R. 1 on the other hand institutionalizes cheating that, of course, favors the Democrats. Critics say Georgia’s new law disenfranchises Black voters by asking them for a photo ID to identify themselves.

H.R.1 bans voter ID laws. Instead, all a voter will have to do is give a sworn statement that they are who they say they are at the polls. It also bars states from checking with other states for duplicate registrations within six months of an election. It bars removing former voters from the rolls for failure to vote or to respond to mailings.

I argued back in May of last year that expanding mail-in voting was wrought with potential fraud. H.R.1 permanently enshrines mail-in voting into federal law.

The fears of contracting COVID 19 at polling locations are legitimate and every precaution must be taken to ensure a voter’s safety. But mail-in voting is fraught with potential fraud.

According to these election experts, here are three potential problems with mail-in voting this election cycle:

  • “Because the ballot is cast outside the public eye, the opportunities for coercion and voter impersonation are greater. Coercion by family members, employers, union leaders, religious leaders, or others might occur.” National Conference of State Legislatures

  • “Voter registration rolls are notoriously inaccurate, containing names of voters who are deceased, have moved, or otherwise have become ineligible.  In 2018, California was sued over maintaining 1.5 million inactive voter files.” CATO Institute, JW v. Logan Settlement

  • Even many scholars who argue that fraud is generally rare agree that fraud with voting by mail seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting.”MIT Election Data and Science Lab

H.R. 1 only allows election officials to challenge a voter’s eligibility to vote on Election Day. Hmmm, I wonder how many election challenges will occur in say Cook County, Illinois, or in San Francisco? Probably not very many. States will be compelled to accept voter registrations from 16-year-olds, even though they can’t vote until they are 18.

The most egregious part of H.R.1 is the provision that strips state legislatures from drawing their own congressional districts. Instead, “independent ” commissions will draw district boundary lines. Mid-decade readjustments are banned under H.R.1. In order to reduce representation in rural and traditionally Republican areas, prison inmates are counted as residents of their last known address — even if they are serving a life sentence!

Georgia’s new voting reform laws are not discriminatory and will ensure integrity in Georgia’s elections. H.R. 1, on the other hand, will do the exact opposite in Georgia and the other 49 states. We must not get distracted by the Democrats’ head fakes in Georgia while they maneuver the federal takeover of our election system. We must stay vocal and diligent because our country’s future depends on it.