(ATLANTA, GA - 10/24/18) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today strongly encouraged Georgia Muslim voters to cast their election ballots early in order to ensure they have time to report and address any voter suppression tactics.
"Voter suppression has returned to Georgia with a vengeance," said CAIR Georgia staff attorney Murtaza Khwaja. "Between rejected absentee ballots, a draconian exact match law, malfunctioning voter machines, a biased Secretary of State, and 53,000 delayed registration forms, our state is well on its way to silencing thousands of voters, including Georgia Muslims."
Georgia is home to over 70 mosques and at least 150,000 American Muslims, many of whom are African-Americans or immigrants to America who attained citizenship in recent decades.
In a statement, CAIR Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
"Many American Muslims are people of color who may speak multiple languages, use non-English names with variant spellings, or plan to vote for the very first time this November. All of that makes our community particularly vulnerable to voter suppression tactics. As such, Georgia Muslims cannot afford to wait until Election Day to cast our ballots. Neither can other targeted minority groups. We must vote early so that we have plenty of time to identify, report, and address any attempts to suppress our ballots."
CAIR Georgia has also joined calls for Secretary of State Brian Kemp to resign his office in order to to ensure the appearance of a free and fair election.
"We cannot trust politicians to referee the very competitions they seek to win," Mitchell said. "This is especially true of Secretary Kemp, who has openly expressed concern that a surge in voters will undermine his party's prospects. Through either malice or incompetence, his office has also thrown roadblock after roadblock in the path of legitimate voters."
(NOTE: as a non-profit civil rights organization, CAIR Georgia cannot and does not endorse candidates for office).
"To be clear, this is not about who voters will elect as our next governor," Mitchell said. "This is about whether voters will freely and fairly elect our next governor."