ATLANTA – Today, Congresswomen Nikema Williams (GA-05) and Susan Wild (PA-07) introduced the Stay in Line to Vote Act, legislation that would explicitly allow food and drink to be provided to voters while they wait in line at polling places. Last month, legislators in Georgia passed a restrictive voting law that placed new obstacles between voters and their right to vote, including a provision that makes it a crime to provide food or drink – even water – to people waiting in line to vote. The Stay in Line to Vote Act would provide a basic level of support to voters as they wait to cast their ballot, especially in areas where long lines can deter voting.
“Georgians are no stranger to voter suppression tactics, but to criminalize giving food and water to people simply exercising their democratic right to vote is cruel and inhumane,” said Congresswoman Williams. “During the last election, Georgians battled hours-long lines to vote and having basic sustenance was often enough to keep voters in line.
SB 202 becoming law in Georgia, and similar bills being debated in state legislatures across the country are proof that the battle
for voting rights is not over. I am proud to sponsor this legislation with Congresswoman Wild to stop these attempts to turn back the clock on progress, and work to prevent the enactment of Jim Crow 2.0 laws meant to silence the voices of the people.”
“Georgia may be the first Republican-controlled state legislature to restrict access to the ballot in response to last year’s voter turnout, but it will not be the last,” said Congresswoman Wild. “There’s nothing more sacred in a democracy than the right to vote, and sustenance like food or water could be the difference between one’s ability to stay in line and exercise the right to vote or needing to leave without being able to vote. I’m proud to partner with my friend, Representative Nikema Williams, to introduce the Stay in Line to Vote Act and protect access to the ballot box.”