The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is proud to present a virtual screening of Suppressed 2020: The Fight to Vote, on Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 4:30 P.M., followed by a talk with voting rights advocate Valerie Morishige. Director Robert Greenwald’s urgent and timely film focuses on the Stacy Abrams gubernatorial campaign in Georgia, revealing the rampant voter suppression that affected the outcome of the 2018 midterm election. The film exposes the threat those techniques pose to our elections all across the nation in 2020.
The gripping 40-minute documentary illustrates the problems of long voting lines and uncounted absentee ballots, and how Brian Kemp, who was both a candidate for governor and the Secretary of State in charge of the Georgia election, put more than 53,000 voter registrations on hold until after the election. Eighty percent of those registrations were filed by black residents. Not surprisingly, Kemp won the election and is now the Georgia Governor.
The state of Georgia has been quietly –and illegally– purging hundreds of thousands of valid registered voters from the state rolls for the better half of a decade, according to a blockbuster report from the American Civil Liberties Union just published on September 2. Of the more than 300,000 names that were purged from the rolls, the study discovered that “198,351 Georgia voters who supposedly moved from their registration addresses who, in fact, have not moved at all, and therefore were wrongly purged, a 63.3% error rate.” This is a conservative estimate, however, because the report “left out of this list those voters whose addresses we were unable to confirm,” the ACLU explains.
Poll workers, who are overwhelmingly seniors and highly vulnerable to the coronavirus, are underpaid and undertrained on the electronic equipment used in some precincts. Many businesses and public facilities can’t or won’t provide pace for polling places because of the stringent regulations and the added burden of the patchwork of local public health guidelines for COVID-19. These conditions lead to a scarcity in the in-person voting locations, resulting in long lines and missed opportunities to vote. “Pull back the veneer and you see something really rotten happening. It’s almost like termites,” Carol Anderson, professor of African American Studies at Emory University, declares in the film. “We’ve got to understand: this stuff is very bureaucratic. It’s mundane. It’s routine. But it is lethal.”
These voter suppression efforts and failures in the voting process are not confined to Georgia or other “red” states. As Morishige says, “We might have all of the fancy policies and politicians saying all the right things about voting in California, but in practice we fail.” We need to make voting accessible for all.
Please join us for this fascinating (and frustrating) film and learn how to prevent voter suppression right here in California.
REGISTER for this FREE SCREENING and discussion here!