Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has reportedly issued an executive order against the voting law signed by Governor Brian Kemp on March 24.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on Tuesday (April 6), Bottoms directed the City’s Chief Equity Officer to implement a series of actions, through an Administrative Order, to diminish what her office describes as “new voting restrictions” imposed by Senate Bill 202. Her office stated that the new actions will ensure every Atlanta resident can exercise their right to vote.
“The voting restrictions of SB 202 will disproportionately impact Atlanta residents—particularly in communities of color and other minority groups,” Bottoms said in a statement, according to the AJC. “This Administrative Order is designed to do what those in the majority of the state legislature did not—expand access to our right to vote.”
It isn’t clear how the mayor’s actions will impact Atlanta’s voting turnout moving forward.
The mayor’s office says the order will jumpstart efforts to develop a plan within the city’s authority to expand access to the ballot box by training staff members on voter registration and general information on early, absentee, and in-person voting.
Atlanta is also developing plans to provide info on voting registration and absentee voting using QR Codes, water bills and weblinks to city websites.
Under the new Georgia voting law voting drop boxes can only be located inside early voting locations and available during voting hours. Residents of the southern state will be required to provide a driver’s license number, state ID number or other documentation when requesting an absentee ballot. Additionally, voters will have to request an absentee ballot at least 11 days prior to election day.
Local governments are also prohibited from mailing unsolicited absentee ballot application forms and volunteers can no longer provide food and water to voters waiting in lines.