Fulton commissioners call election bill ‘legislative terrorism’

Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman speaks outside 141 Pryor St. in downtown Atlanta about her resolution against SB 202. (Ben Brasch/AJC)
Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman speaks outside 141 Pryor St. in downtown Atlanta about her resolution against SB 202. (Ben Brasch/AJC)

A majority of the Fulton County Commission plans to support a measure opposing a newly signed Georgia election bill that hampers several county voting efforts.

The resolution calls on the county attorney to explore options, in court and otherwise, to fight the implementation of SB 202 — a bill so radioactive that it caused Major League Baseball to moved the All-Star game out of Georgia.

Republicans say they created the legislation, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, to make voting more secure.

The law bars volunteers from handing out food or water to voters waiting in lines, requires proof of ID for mail-in votes and gives the Republican-led state government more power over local elections operations.

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The bill also restricts the use of ballot drop boxes. According to Fulton Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, this reduces the county’s number of drop boxes from 38 to eight.

“That is legislation that is laser-focused on (reducing) the Black and brown (vote),” she said, later adding: “That is legislative terrorism.”

Abdur-Rahman held a press conference Tuesday to announce her resolution, which she said will be up for a vote at the Commission’s meeting Wednesday.

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger released a statement in response to Fulton Democrats, including Fulton Commission Chairman Robb Pitts, coming out against SB 202.

“Fulton County Democrats need to stop passing the blame to Republicans for failures they have sole control over, and actually do something about it. Fulton’s voters need more action, not more press conferences,” Raffensperger wrote.

The state bill also disallows the county from using its two $350,000 mobile voting units. When Tropical Storm Zeta knocked out power at precincts during early voting in October, the county used the mobile precincts to keep voting going. In all, Abdur-Rahman said, about 11,000 voters have used the units.

The county had an embarrassing June election season — some voters waited in line for hours, many because they never received mail-in ballots because Fulton’s system was overwhelmed. It took doubling the county’s elections budget to make for a smooth November election.

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That’s why local officials are worried about the bill limiting counties from accepting grant money, which paid for Fulton’s mobile voting units.

When asked about whether she thinks this will end up in court, Abdur-Rahman said: “Fulton County attorneys get paid good money.”

The Commission is set to meet Wednesday at 10 a.m. online, http://bit.ly/WatchFGTV.

Credit: WSBTV Videos

Fulton County commissioners introducing challenge to Georgia’s voting laws

Credit: WSBTV Videos