For Immediate Release
New Georgia Project Action Fund
New Georgia Project Action Fund CEO, Kendra Cotton, released the following statement in response to the Atlanta City Council’s announcement that it will use the signature match verification process to validate petitions collected as part of the effort to place a referendum on the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, popularly known as Cop City, on the ballot for a vote.
“Signature matching is a tool of voter suppression—plain and simple. The City of Atlanta’s use of this arcane method to verify petition signatures in the push to get a referendum on Cop City on the ballot is the same method used for years by the GOP to throw out valid ballots cast by Georgia voters. It’s the same method that the State of Georgia stopped using because they had been sued so many times on this unfair, skewed, and politically motivated practice.
How a Democratic mayor and a City Council in a majority-Democratic city have chosen to take up a tactic that Republicans themselves have said ‘no’ to is outrageous. In fact, the Democratic Party itself brought a lawsuit against signature match in 2019 after it was used unevenly in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
To make matters worse, the city’s guidelines fail to so much as outline how voters could address—and correct—such issues. Thus, their intentions are clear. This harmful and reckless practice undermines our democratic principles and will, ultimately, rob Atlanta residents of a free and fair chance to have a say on Cop City—a facility that will directly impact their communities and for which they are footing the bill.
The City Council and Mayor should immediately rescind this process and replace it with one built on sound, fair, and transparent procedures that give the voters who put them in office a shot at determining the future of their communities.”