Author Topic: A Georgia Grandmother Faced Charges After She Helped A Black Voter  (Read 644 times)

Offline imchills

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On October 15, 2012, the first day of early voting in the presidential election, a young black woman named Diewanna Robinson went to the local board of elections office in the country town of Douglas, Georgia, to vote. It was her first time, and after signing a few forms, Robinson found herself in front of a voting machine that she didn’t know how to use.
She looked around for help and saw a towering middle-aged woman who was showing others how to vote. The woman came over and showed her how to use the machine.

That seemingly innocent exchange, now almost four and a half years old, was the crux of a criminal trial earlier this week in the one-time tobacco-producing capital of Georgia.

The woman who helped Robinson all those years ago was Olivia Pearson, a local civil rights activist and longtime city commissioner. And now, because of what she did, the 55-year-old grandmother is facing criminal charges that could put her in prison for five years.

The local district attorney’s office, led by a Republican, decided to bring charges, and the prosecutor, a 30-year-old white man named Ian Sansot, said what Pearson did broke the law and was a sinister effort to violate the sanctity of the electoral process.
Pearson and her attorneys, and the black community in Douglas, say this case is not about the law. They say it’s part of an obvious and well-orchestrated attempt to intimidate black voters, a campaign with a long history in Georgia — and throughout the South — to suppress the minority vote.

“This is supposed to cause fear in those who would dare stand up for themselves,” said Nefertara Clark, Pearson’s attorney. The prosecutors, she said, “would like to take us backward.”

Nationally, Republicans have frequently and loudly raised the specter of voter fraud. Just this year, President Donald Trump made repeated and false allegations about illegal voters in the November election.

Voters’ rights advocates counter that claims of voter fraud are wildly overstated, and, indeed, most studies show that tampering with the vote is very rare in the US. Civil rights workers say that as the country has become steadily less white, Republicans have brandished unfounded claims of voter fraud as an excuse to pass laws and throw up other obstacles that make it harder for minority voters to cast their ballots.

Georgia is ground zero for this struggle. The GOP controls both legislative houses and all eight statewide elected offices, including the governorship. Georgia encourages ordinary citizens to lodge voter-fraud complaints through a dedicated website. Nationwide, Republican-led state legislatures have followed Georgia’s lead by advancing dozens of bills tightening rules and requirements for voting and voter registration.

Yet actual prosecutions for voter fraud remain rare: Just 10 of the 154 investigations closed since 2014 in Georgia have been referred to a prosecutor; most are closed without a ruling or dismissed.
But that was of little solace to Pearson.

She would need to defend herself in court.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/joelanderson/this-is-what-happened-when-a-georgia-grandmother-went-on?utm_term=.gcKNrNLGD#.ji2Q8QVkn

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

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Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

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