NAACP Raises Concerns Following Election Day Incident

NAACP Raises Concerns Following Election Day Incident

On Wednesday, May 22nd, the NAACP hosted a press conference to address potential voter suppression incidents that occurred on election day. The keynote speaker, Lucas Multo of the NAACP Political Action Committee, highlighted several issues reported by community members and local organizations. 

On election day, voters fled the Shirley Winston Recreation Center after a masked gunman armed with an assault-style rifle entered the building in what later was determined to be an unrelated altercation. This incident led several voters to leave without casting their ballots due to safety concerns. The NAACP raised serious questions about voter safety and the presence of law enforcement. "Where was law enforcement? And how do we prevent this from happening again," asked Multo.

Addressing security concerns, Nancy Boren, Director of Elections for City Services, noted that deputy sheriffs are assigned to zones and can be contacted by precinct managers for assistance. Specifically, a deputy sheriff was present at the Shirley Winston precinct on election day.

"The Department of Elections has a security protocol that our precinct managers are trained on to ensure the safety of workers and citizens. They are instructed to call 911 and report to the elections office and board," said Boren.

According to Multo, numerous complaints were received regarding absentee ballots not being fully counted and changes in polling locations that needed to be properly communicated to the public. Multo emphasized the importance of every vote, stating, "We feel that if one's voice is taken from them, you're taking their vote and their freedom." He said that even one uncounted vote is too many and can disenfranchise citizens, preventing them from impacting their community.

Regarding absentee ballots, Boren mentioned delays caused by a short-staffed post office. This issue was mitigated through community efforts, including assistance from Senator John Ossoff, who coordinated with the US Postmaster to address the distribution problems. Out of 1,406 mailed absentee ballots, only 300 were unreturned, with some voters opting to vote in person or choosing not to return their ballots.

For future elections, Boren suggested using absentee ballot drop boxes or delivering ballots directly to the elections office to avoid postal delays.

The NAACP has called for a full investigation by Nancy Boren and other elected officials to uncover what transpired and asked for a public report of their findings.

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