Today, Vice President Kamala Harris convened leaders in Atlanta, Georgia who are on the frontlines of registering and protecting voting rights at the national, state, and local level to discuss ongoing threats to ballot access, the actions being taken to counter those threats, and the fight ahead for fundamental freedoms.
During the discussion, the Vice President called out extremists in Georgia and across the country for their full-on assault on the freedom to vote, noting more than 300 anti-voter bills were introduced last year. She also outlined steps that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to protect voting rights and our democracy, including by ensuring voter registration information is available on vote.gov in 17 languages. And, she once again called on Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
The voting rights leaders in attendance shared their concerns about threats to voting rights taking place across the country, including the issues of mis- and disinformation, voter intimidation, harassment of poll and election workers, and mass ballot challenges. Leaders also shared the work they are doing nationally and, in their communities, to advance protections for voters, including engaging young people and rural communities, recruiting election and poll workers, and helping all voters know their rights. Vice President Harris thanked them for their work, and affirmed that she and President Biden continue to stand with them in their efforts. She also announced that the next convening would be in February with these organizations and others.
Since being sworn in, the President and Vice President have worked to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and advanced. In addition to her work on pushing for federal legislation, the Vice President has convened a broad coalition of voting rights champions to strategize about what must be done to ensure that Americans have access to the ballot. Vice President Harris has brought together leaders from a variety of different communities, including the Black community, Hispanic community, Asian American and Pacific Islander community, Native American and Tribal community, voters with disabilities, youth, poll workers and election officials, and other groups that are working to safeguard our democracy.
The leaders who participated in today’s conversation include:
- Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-GA-07)
- Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-GA-05)
- Councilwoman YT Bell, Clarkston City Council and Senior Director of And Still I Vote Program, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- (Moderator) LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder, Black Voters Matter
- Helen Butler, Executive Director, Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda
- Cliff Albright, Executive Director, Black Voters Matter
- Kendra Davenport Cotton, CEO, New Georgia Project
- Hannah Fried, Executive Director, All Voting is Local
- Jerry Gonzalez, CEO, GALEO Latino Development Fund
- Mary-Pat Hector, CEO, Rise
- Amanda Hollowell, Managing Director, National Organizing, When We All Vote
- Bishop Reginald Jackson, Presiding Prelate-Sixth Episcopal District of GA, AME Church
- María Teresa Kumar, Co-Founder and President, Voto Latino
- Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Partner, Lawrence & Bundy
- Seth Levi, Chief Strategy Officer, Southern Poverty Law Center
- Bob Sakaniwa, Director of Policy and Advocacy, APIAVote
- Cianti Stewart-Reid, Executive Director, Fair Fight Action
- Lucille Wenegieme, Executive Director, HeadCount