Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order Tuesday directing the city’s chief equity officer to find ways to “mitigate” the effect of the new Georgia election law.
“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,” Bottoms said in a statement.
The mayor’s office will provide training to all staff members on voter registration and information on early, absentee and in-person voting to communicate the information to residents.
Last week the Atlanta mayor back Major League Baseball’s decision to move its All-Star Game out of her city due to the new voting law.
“Just as elections have consequences, so do the actions of those who are elected,” the Democratic mayor wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Unfortunately, the removal of the [MLB] All Star game from GA is likely the 1st of many dominoes to fall, until the unnecessary barriers put in place to restrict access to the ballot box are removed.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has flatly rejected criticisms from the White House and corporations, saying The Election Integrity Act makes it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
Georgia enacted sweeping election reform last week that required voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification, limited ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters, expanded early voting days, and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The legislation barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line within 150 feet.
The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature. It states that the General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state. It also shortens run-offs from nine weeks to four.