Monday, July 19, 2021

Stone Mountain lawmaker speaks to U.S. Senate committee on election law

State Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) was among those who spoke at a U.S. Senate Rules Committee hearing held in Atlanta on Monday regarding new restrictions in Georgia's voting law.

The field hearing was held the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were among those who criticized revised limits on registration periods, runoff voting, drop boxes and a provision that would allow the General Assembly's majority party to bypass local election officials.

Mitchell, who chairs the Georgia House Democratic Caucus, said that last provision allows "cheating umpires" who could replace local officials with political appointees "whose only concern is the will of the person who appointed them." 

"If they don't like the outcome of an election, they can simply and immediately just take over the election board," the Washington Post quoted Mitchell as saying. "For that reason alone, these election laws should concern us all."

According to the Albany Herald, Mitchell noted that courts rejected every lawsuit alleging voting fraud in last year's elections. "With the highest level of voter participation and the lowest number of challenges, why would you want to change that?" Mitchell asked the Senate panel.