By Isaiah Phillips
Howard University News Service
On March 28, a Georgia law was passed preventing the supply of water and food to voters standing in long lines for extended periods of time. Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp signed a sweeping election bill that banned giveaways within a certain distance from voting poll sites.
Governor Kemp’s law came at a time when he was preparing to gear up in a rematch for the office against Stacey Abrams, an activist who focused on getting citizens of Georgia to vote in the 2020 elections.
Georgia’s laws created an uproar in Georgia and throughout the country. Protesters took to the streets in opposition.
Nndidi Chiazor, a political science and sociology double major at Howard University is passionate about the impact of voter suppression.
“I think that the voter suppression we have seen in recent years is very disheartening,” said Chiazor.
“We have seen it a lot in legislation. For example, broad restrictions on mail voting in various states, or more specifically Georgia banning the distribution of water or snacks to voters waiting in line, knowing the state has notoriously long wait times in some elections.”
He noted that these policies specifically target and impact marginalized communities.
Eve Morency and Clyde Skeete, both students at Howard University, spoke about their disappointment in the way votes are being counted.
“I feel like it’s horrible and being that this is the land of the free and a democracy, it shouldn’t be happening at all,” said Skeete
“I don’t believe all votes are being counted fairly, especially the ones in the mail,” said Morency.
It was clear that some first-time voters seemingly have doubts about the way elections are being conducted.
“With mail ballots, anything can happen. in my opinion, my safest way to vote would have to be to register at the nearest poll and cast your vote,” Skeete said.
Jahenyah Christian, an education major at Howard had another take.
“I believe all votes are counted fairly, I haven’t seen many factual and unbiased articles that express that absentee mail-in ballots are biased and unfair. I don’t know for sure if the mail doesn’t get to its correct place, but that’s why certain states have regulations and deadlines,” said Christian.
Students at other HBCUs had varying perspectives on the midterm elections. Sian Lee, a psychology major at Spelman College talked about the impact of potential voter suppression.
“Voter suppression limits the amount of power that African-American people have, it is a problem because it violates constitutional rights. I would hope that all votes are counted equally as the American government system can not be trusted. The government places the needs of policy over its people,” said Lee.