Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an administrative order meant to expand voting access in response to Georgia’s new voting restrictions that would impact Black and brown communities.
The order directs Atlanta’s chief equity officer to develop and implement a plan within the city’s authority to mitigate the effect of the state law that’s brought harsh criticism nationwide for rolling back voting access and information.
“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.”
Gov. Brian Kemp passed the law recently with new election rules that appear to target the very voters belonging to the demographics responsible for the record turnout on Election Day and in January’s special elections for the state’s two U.S. Senate seats, which turned the state blue.
Bottoms’ order calls for the Chief Equity Officer and the Department of Law to develop and implement a plan that could mitigate the impact on Atlanta residents.
“We’re also going to have to really continue to educate and encourage people to stand in the gap for voters across this state who may not have the ability to cast a vote, meaning we can’t go and vote for the president and then wait an additional four years,” Bottoms said in an interview with Axios.
The city’s proposals include training staff on how to educate residents on voter registration and early, absentee and in-person voting.