Atlanta, March 2, 2021 – The House of Representatives in the Georgia State Legislature voted on House Bill 531 (HB 531), widely known as anti-voting omnibus bill. The Georgia Assembly voted 97-72 to pass HB 531, and the bill will now move onto the Senate floor.
Based on its most recent published copy, HB 531 would include provisions that restrict the window of time when voters could request absentee ballots, restrict dropbox access, add new ID requirements for vote by mail, and criminalize volunteers for handing out food and water to voters waiting in 2-8 hour long lines, among a number of other things.
“Today is a dark, dark day in our state. Republicans voted as a caucus to enact the most blatantly racist attacks on voting rights in the South since Jim Crow, after losing in an election system they planned, built, and oversaw. Let history show that instead of fighting for our democracy, these cowards betrayed Georgia voters, threw out truth and facts, and attempted to undo Georgia’s legacy as a home for civil rights and accessible elections,” said Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chairwoman of Democratic Party of Georgia in a released statement.
“This fight is not over — Georgia Democrats will use every tool and arena to fight for Georgians’ right to vote until the power rests with the people, and not these desperate despots,” added Williams.
“Despite overwhelming opposition against House Bill 531 and the stories of shared triumph in Georgia after the 2020 election, we are seeing a number of Jim Crow-esque laws come through the General Assembly. Legislators are trying to pass these bills under the false pretense of preserving election integrity and increasing voter confidence. With this vote on HB 531, AAPI, Latinx, and Black voters have suffered a blow that may take decades to overcome, but we are ready for the fight,” said LaVita Tuff, Policy Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta.
Tuft expect the second omnibus anti-voting bill, Senate Bill 241 to be treated similarly.