Tuesday afternoon, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order directing the City’s Chief Equity Officer to develop a plan of action within the City’s authority to expand opportunity and access to the ballot box, a formal rebuke to Senate Bill 202 that includes the following measures:

The City will provide training to staff members on voter registration and general information on early, absentee, and in-person voting, in order to communicate this information to City residents, by educating and informing Atlanta residents on how to obtain the forms of identification required for absentee voting.

In addition, the City of Atlanta promises to create websites that provide information regarding voter registration and absentee voting in water bills plus voting-related deadlines and timelines.

“The voting restrictions of SB 202 will disproportionately impact Atlanta residents—particularly in communities of color and other minority groups,” said Mayor Bottoms. “This Administrative Order is designed to do what those in the majority of the state legislature did not—expand access to our right to vote.”

Georgia Republicans believed Senate Bill 202, which is named The Election Integrity Act of 2021, was necessary to boost confidence in elections after the 2020 election saw then-President Donald Trump make repeated, unsubstantiated claims of fraud. But Bottoms emphasized Tuesday that voting restrictions in the law will “disproportionately impact Atlanta residents — particularly in communities of color and other minority groups.”

Saturday, Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp promised he would not back down from criticism regarding the new election laws.

“I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight,” Kemp said during a news conference on Saturday after MLB’s decision was announced. “We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced.”

Tuesday evening, Georgia’s new election law was lampooned by former President Donald J. Trump. He believes the measure, which was crafted based upon his grievances, did not go far enough.

“Georgia’s election reform law is far too weak and soft to ensure real ballot integrity,” said Trump. “Election Day is supposed to be Election Day, not Election Week or Election Month. Far too many days are given to vote. Too much “mischief” can happen during this very long period of time. You saw that in the 2020 Presidential Election.”

 

Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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