Week In Review 6-12-2020

All eyes were on Georgia's primary election last Tuesday. The Peach State was seen as a barometer of what we can expect in terms of voting this November. Georgia had purchased new voting machines and mailed out ballots to voters. However the election was a mess and Georgia lived up to its reputation for voter suppression.
Absentee ballots were never delivered. Extremely long waits at polling sites forced people to wait for hours, made even more dangerous during the Coronavirus pandemic. Some voters, frustrated from waiting while poll workers struggled to fix the new equipment, gave up and left without casting their ballot. It was no coincidence that most of the trouble occurred in minority areas.
The Secretary of State wants an investigation. This does not give voters confidence, especially since Georgia's Governor, Brian Kemp, and the Secretary of State are both Republicans. Kemp was the architect of 2018 voter suppression in his state.
In addition, the voting machines were purchased from a company whose former top lobbyist is now Kemp's Chief of Staff. That staffer attended a Las Vegas junket sponsored by the voting machine company right before Kemp approved the purchase.
But the Georgia election did prove one positive thing - vote-by-mail works. It increases participation dramatically. Fewer than 40,000 people typically vote by absentee ballot in Georgia. This election 1.2 million absentee ballots were received setting a record. But it also furthered hindered the state, which was ill prepared for the influx.
States need more resources for equipment and increased training for poll workers. The voting equipment must be secure and tested out before election day. We need to expand vote-by-mail and early voting, and to improve the safety, accessibility, and efficiency of in-person voting during elections. 
Call Congress. Tell your Representative and Senators to support the Vote Safe Act of 2020. Congress must act quickly. Time is running out.
The future of our democracy rests on safe, accessible elections.
(JAC-endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff won his primary for Georgia's Senate seat. The Dems have a good chance now to pick-up this seat as we head toward a Democratic Senate majority.)