Georgia Faith Leaders Condemn Republican Led Efforts to Cancel Sunday Voting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

 

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Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org | 540-280-3393

 

Georgia Faith Leaders Condemn Republican Led Efforts to Cancel Sunday Voting

 

Min. Shavonne Williams, “By canceling Sunday voting, the Spalding County elections board is making a direct attempt to silence the voices of Black Georgians who showed up in record numbers during the 2020 presidential and senate elections.”

 

Griffin, GA – In a closed door meeting that has no record of discussion or the final vote, the Spalding County Board of Elections voted to cancel Sunday voting–a historically heavy turnout day for Black voters and other people of faith. Souls to Polls – transporting churchgoers to voting locations after Sunday services – is a tradition that has allowed Black churches to participate in civic society for years. Statistics show there is a higher percentage of Black voters in Georgia that cast ballots on Sundays than other days of the week.

 

Min. Shavonne Williams, Georgia Organizing Ambassador, Faith in Public Life Action

“By canceling Sunday voting, the Spalding County elections board is making a direct attempt to silence the voices of Black Georgians who showed up in record numbers during the 2020 presidential and senate elections. This obvious power grab by the board of elections is an attack on all who want to exercise their freedom to vote and it goes against the foundational faith teaching that calls us to "love our neighbors." We are called to show love in action: to proclaim good news, proclaim liberty and to set free those who are oppressed. Instead the Spalding County election board is attempting to disenfranchise and further oppress people. We must change Georgia’s voting legislation and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.”

 

Rev. Dr. Donny D. Green, Sr., Pastor Bible Way Baptist Church,  Albany, GA

“The Spalding County Board of Elections was only able to cancel Sunday voting by manipulating the board make-up and voting in secret. This lack of transparency shows ill-intent and is an example of how election boards throughout our state are attempting to subvert the will of the voters when election results are not in favor of those in power. We must ensure that elections are decided by voters. We need immediate changes to our state’s voting legislation and for Congress to pass federal voting rights legislation so that Georgians can vote and elect officials to make decisions that will help our entire state.”  

Elder Willie J. Wiley, Presiding Elder, Augusta-Sparta District CME Church Pastor, Vanderhorst CME Church, Thomson, GA

“The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah wrote, "woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record unjust decisions so as to deprive the needy of justice and rob the poor of my people of their rights… " Clandestine efforts to undermine and overturn all Georgians' sacred right and duty to vote by changing the composition of the Boards of Election and enacting rules to reduce opportunities to vote adversely affect the marginalized in every community. The legislative changes and action to control local and state elections by influencing local leaders and weakening responsible entities clearly targets certain groups to minimize the impact of their votes… Georgians deserve better…Where are the REAL leaders in Georgia and who will accept responsibility for the shame that is being created by the sham done in the interest of politics? WAKE UP EVERYBODY!”

 

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Faith in Public Life Action is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirm our values and the human dignity of all.