Black Seniors in Georgia Ordered Off Bus Taking them to Vote
Government officials ordered about 40 Black senior citizens off a bus run by the group Black Voters Matter that was taking them to vote Monday -- the first day of in-person early voting in Georgia in the election for Governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The bus was preparing to depart from a senior center operated by Jefferson County when the center’s Director said they needed to disembark, said LaTosha Brown, a Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter. A county clerk had called the senior center raising concerns about allowing the bus to take residents from the senior center in the city of Louisville, south of Augusta. A county administrator said he felt uncomfortable with allowing senior center patrons to leave the facility in a bus with an unknown third party even though they had permission. After the seniors got off the bus, they were initially told they could ride in a county van provided by the senior center to go vote, Brown said. But then, the seniors had to get off the van because the senior center’s leaders decided it was close to lunchtime, and the seniors could vote another day. The news comes on the heels of election officials in a suburban Atlanta county rejecting hundreds of absentee ballots, prompting state and local inquiries and legal challenges by voting rights advocates, who say the moves have disproportionately affected African American, Latino, and Asian American voters. Among the reasons cited for ballots being tossed are signatures that do not match those on file, missing addresses, and incorrect birth years. The data show that more than 1,200 ballots have been rejected statewide. A total of 465 ballots had been tossed as of Monday night -- 38% of all those rejected statewide. More here.