WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), member of the Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law and California’s former Secretary of State, participated in a Rules Committee field hearing in Georgia titled, Protecting the Freedom to Vote: Recent changes to Georgia voting laws and the need for basic federal standards to make sure all Americans can vote in the way that works best for them.
The hearing included testimony from Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Georgia State Representative Billy Mitchell, as well as a panel of witnesses including: Sally Harrell, State Senator for District 40, Georgia, Helen Butler, Executive Director, Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, and former Member of Board of Elections, Morgan County, Georgia, and José Segarra, a voter from Houston County, Georgia.
Padilla began the hearing stressing the urgency to pass voting rights legislation and calling out Republicans for their inaction and hypocrisy on the issue. Padilla pointed to the Republicans’ refusal to even open debate on the For the People Act, highlighting the partisan gridlock in Congress and the Republican legislators across the country that continue to implement voter suppression laws under the guise of election integrity despite study after study finding that voter fraud in America is exceedingly rare.
Padilla went on to ask the panelists about Georgia’s latest voter suppression law, SB 202, the Election Integrity Act of 2021, which includes restrictive and partisan changes to absentee voting, early voting, and election administration – all issues that are designed to make it harder for communities of color to vote. The panelists discussed the various voter suppression provisions of SB 202, their effects on voters of color, and the partisan process by which the bill was passed.
For additional information on the hearing, click here.