Clayton County Commission formally opposes new voting law

Clayton Commissioner DeMont Davis said external actors should not be allowed to take away the voice of county voters. LEON STAFFORD/AJC
Clayton Commissioner DeMont Davis said external actors should not be allowed to take away the voice of county voters. LEON STAFFORD/AJC

The Clayton County Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to oppose the state’s newly passed voting law that many say echoes Jim Crow-era restrictions at the polls.

The board said it opposes laws that “would decrease or limit all eligible citizens from voting,” and argues SB 202 does that by reducing the use of drop boxes in elections and making it illegal to provide water to voters waiting to cast their ballots. The new law also gives the state power to take over county election boards if it deems it necessary.

Critics argue that the law is an attempt to suppress the vote after Joe Biden won the state in last year’s presidential election and Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were elected to the Senate. Gov. Brian Kemp and his Republican allies said the law promotes voter integrity.

Clayton’s move comes weeks after the city of Stockbridge passed a similar resolution and Fulton County Commissioners approved one earlier this month.

Clayton Commissioner DeMont Davis said the law is a blatant attempt to turn back the clock, especially after county voters were widely hailed as helping Biden pull ahead of former President Donald Trump in the days following the election. He said those who support voter suppression would make the county a “plantation again” by exerting external control.

“It’s not whether you are Democrat or Republican, it’s about whether you want to have your voice controlled,” Davis said.

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