The Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s volunteer networks, today released the following statement on voter access issues in the Georgia primaries. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described the primary as a “complete meltdown,” with some voters in Atlanta having to wait hours to cast their ballots:
“The same Black and brown communities disproportionately affected by gun violence are also the targets of voter suppression, and we saw that again across Georgia,” said Adrienne Penake, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The progress we seek on gun safety and systemic racism depends on protecting everyone’s right to vote easily and safely. Georgia failed to protect that right.”
According to a New York Times report, “Georgia election officials, poll workers and voters reported major trouble with voting in Atlanta and elsewhere on Tuesday as the state’s primaries got underway, most critically a series of problems with new voting machines that forced many people across the state to wait in long lines and cast provisional ballots.”
In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight Action, described the primary as a “disaster that was preventable” and “emblematic of the deep systemic issues we have here in Georgia.” Predominantly Black precincts in Atlanta experienced the worst problems. In Clayton County, one precinct ran out of Democratic primary provisional ballots – in use as a result of faulty voting machines – by 10 a.m.
In April, following a virtual conversation with Fair Fight Action founder Stacey Abrams, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action released a set of principles to protect voting rights and expand voter access amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gun violence has a disproportionate impact on Black people in America. In Georgia, Black people are six times as likely as white people to die by gun homicide, and Black children and teens are three times as likely as their white peers to die by guns.