Hollis and members of the electoral board in at least 10 other counties across the state have fallen victim to the GOP’s new seizure of power in Georgia. In Troup County, local law signed by Governor Brian Kemp gave full control of the county electoral committee to Republicans. The district commission, led by the GOP, can now lead the table over any changes it would like to make to the board, while the members of the election board used to be selected by the district commissioners in collaboration with both political parties and the three largest cities in the district. Of the members of the local electoral council across Georgia who are likely to be either replaced or eliminated, most are Democrats and five are colored, but all of their seats will most likely be occupied by Republicans.
Hollis, for example, was clearly a problem – which Republicans now have a solution to. She has urged to make voting more accessible, such as opening polls on Sunday and adding a new voting location in a black church, for example.
The Georgia statewide electoral suppression law is one of 24 new electoral laws that Republican-led parliaments have passed in more than a dozen states, and more is likely to come. Some of these laws involve both front-end and back-end tampering to protect themselves from outcomes that Republicans don’t like. In addition to restricting the right to vote, Republican lawmakers have also removed power from elected officials. to strangle the state electoral boards and empower themselves to overturn any unfortunate election results.
But these early steps in Georgia suggest that fears of many proponents of voting rights are already underway. If partisan Republicans are already taking steps to remove members of the Democratic and Republican local electoral board who are threatening to act in good faith in a controversial competition, then it is clear that they are already stacking the cards to get the results they want, regardless of who Georgia voters choose to represent them.
“It is a barely veiled attempt to wrest control of the officials who oversaw one of the safest elections in our history and place them in the hands of poor actors,” said Jena Griswold, chair of the Democratic Association of Secretary of State and of the current Colorado Secretary of State. “The risk is the destruction of democracy.”
The electoral law expert and founder of Democracy Docket tweeted, “This is not normal. It is wrong. It is dangerous. And it happens. “