ACA stands with the many voters, voting rights organizations and lawyers, who have condemned legislation that imposes unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote.
The American Counseling Association (ACA) believes that full and equal access to voting is a fundamental right for all citizens. The recent passage of SB 202 by the Georgia state legislature, which goes into effect on July 1, 2021, is in direct contrast to our mission and values which seeks to “empower diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”
“The right to vote is critical to every American’s ability to essentially have voice and advocate for their beliefs including their overall health and well-being,” said Sue Pressman, ACA President. “It’s apparent that provisions included in the law intentionally makes voting harder for many previously disenfranchised voters and impedes the progress and recovery of a nation already reeling from the effects of the Covid pandemic and systemic oppression.”
The controversial law does the following:
- Imposes unnecessary and burdensome new identification requirements for absentee voting as it unduly restricts the use of absentee drop boxes;
- Bans mobile polling places;
- Prohibits the state from distributing unsolicited absentee ballot applications;
- Invalidates ballots cast by lawful voters before 5:00 p.m. in a precinct other than the one to which they were assigned, regardless of the reason or their ability to travel to another location to cast their ballot;
- Bans any non-poll worker from providing food or drink, including water, to voters waiting in line; and,
- Compresses the time period for voting in the runoff election.
ACA stands with the many voters, voting rights organizations and lawyers, who have condemned this legislation that imposes unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote. We also applaud the work of Governor Ralph Northam (VA), who recently approved the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which provides protections against voter suppression, discrimination or intimidation.
Now, Congress must act quickly and pass the For the People Act to thwart forthcoming voter suppression attempts and modernize America’s voting systems and give its citizens the peace of mind and assurance that they matter, their voices will be heard and their votes counted.