Atlanta mayor issues order to offset restrictions from state’s new voter law
"ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says she has issued an administrative order for the city’s Chief Equity Officer to implement a series of actions to offset the state’s new voting law.
“The voting restrictions of SB 202 will disproportionately impact Atlanta residents—particularly in communities of color and other minority groups,” Bottoms said. “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.”
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Under the new law, a photo ID is required in order to vote absentee by mail. The law also makes it a misdemeanor to hand out food or water to voters in line within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter at a polling site.
As part of the order, Bottom said the city will provide training to staff members on voter registration and general information on early, absentee, and in-person voting.
“I want to be clear, this is not a partisan approach that we are taking. We just want to make sure that people all over the city of Atlanta, all of our communities, have at their disposal everything that they need to be able to vote,” Bottoms told Channel 2′s Jorge Estevez in an exclusive interview this week.
The city will also hand out information to residents on how to obtain the forms of identification required for absentee voting.
Bottoms said the city will coordinate with operational departments to include QR codes or links to websites providing information regarding voter registration and absentee voting in water bills and other mailings.
“We will not discriminate, and we will not alienate any group over the other. We’re going to make sure that everybody in the city of Atlanta has the opportunity to access what they need to be able to vote,” Bottoms said.
The order is just the latest move in opposition to the new law. Several of Georgia’s big corporations have come out against the new law, including Coca-Cola and Home Depot.
Last week, Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star game out of Atlanta over the new bill."