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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Florida faces lawsuits over its new election law, a medical board fines an Indiana doctor for speaking about a 10-year-old's abortion, and Minnesota advocates say threats to cut SNAP funds are off the mark.

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The White House and Speaker McCarthy gain support to pass their debt ceiling agreement, former President Donald Trump retakes the lead in a new GOP primary poll, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Mobilizing GA Voters in a Non-Election Year: A Crucial Strategy for Voting Rights Groups

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Monday, March 27, 2023   

There's no rest for Georgia's voting rights groups in this non-election year, though another slew of voting restrictions proposed by a group of Republican legislators is on hold for now.

Advocates are on alert for the possible return of Senate Bill 221 - which would make registering to vote in Georgia even more challenging, ban all ballot drop boxes, and require mandatory audits after every election.

Albany Voter's Coalition Chair Delinda Bryant said recent events have amplified the need for their efforts.

"There is never an off-year," said Bryant. "People are turning 18 every year. I think it needs to start early getting people accustomed, getting used to getting out and exercising their rights. Voting controls your entire life."

Last fall's voting rates already took a hit, after SB 202 went into effect, which Bryant says made voting much less convenient.

SB 202 took away some ballot boxes and allowed individuals to object to voters for any reason. Data from Georgia's Secretary of State shows absentee and mail-in ballot usage in January's run-off was down 36% compared to the general election.

Supporters for additional voting restrictions argue they're needed for additional accuracy, despite the extra roadblocks to access.

Bryant said such challenges disproportionately affect minorities and people with disabilities.

As a result, the coalition intends to intensify its efforts to educate voters and work closely with community influencers to ensure that people are well-informed and ready for the upcoming elections.

"It's more than just getting them registered," said Bryant. "It's getting them educated too and that's what we are targeting this year."

Since the legislative session lasts for two years, SB 221 - and any bill that failed to pass - may be reintroduced next year.

Bryant emphasized that comprehending the legislative process and the long-term potential impact of bills is vital.

She also suggested that voting in local elections also plays a critical role in promoting education and fostering year-round voting initiatives.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.



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