First it was the Heartbeat Bill, then it was opening the economy, and now it’s protecting the vote – Georgia is taking the lead for the nation again, and the media is going absolutely insane.
On Thursday, Georgia became the first state to learn lessons from the 2020 election and pass election reform – the top priority for the General Assembly this year.
We’d like to commend House and Senate leadership and Governor Kemp for their work on this, their refusal to allow this to become an 11th hour issue, and for signing the bill the same day it was passed. Georgia has taken a big step toward election integrity with SB 202, and our leaders wanted to leave no doubt that this was important to them.
But, the deranged media is in complete attack mode. They’re saying we’re racist, that we want to keep people from voting, and that we’re trying to disenfranchise minorities. Pretend-governor Stacey Abrams even compared this reform effort to Jim Crow laws.
Let me be abundantly clear: the outlandish and inflammatory rhetoric and comparisons surrounding this legislation and the insinuation that this bill targets minorities is wrong, disingenuous, a form of voter suppression, and, in fact, racist on its face.
Here’s what SB 202 does:
- Ensures accurate voter lists, removing those who have died or moved.
- Requires photo ID for an absentee ballot.
- Prevents mass mailing of absentee ballot requests forms.
- Requires ballots be printed on security paper.
- Creates a fraud hotline.
- Increases access for election observers.
- Bans private funding of election officials and government agencies.
- Provides increased oversight of local boards and officials who are not complying with the law.
- Prohibits private distribution of meals to incentivize voting.
- Requires a reporting of remaining ballots and ongoing counting once its begun.
- Secures dropboxes.
- And more…
Is anything on that list racist? Discriminatory? Keeping eligible voters from voting? Differentiating people by color or any other group? Any answer to these questions that is not an absolute and resounding NO is either deceitful or demeaning to those you’re asserting cannot comply with these security measures.
Governor Kemp was clear in his remarks: Georgia won’t put up with these lies. You can watch his remarks on this bill. He gets combative with the radical, anti-integrity left around the 4:35 mark.
Of note, Governor Kemp declared the DC-proposed HR 1 an “unconstitutional power grab” and one that he would draw a line in the sand over. “No, not in Georgia,” he said. Should that fight come, we expect our Georgia leaders to hold the line and deny the Biden-Harris-Schumer-Pelosi Axis of Radicalism access to determining our Georgia laws.
We promised you that we would support and pass election reform. That promise has been kept.
However, the work in defending it has only begun. As Governor Kemp was making his remarks, one legislator pulled a publicity stunt, and, after antagonizing Capitol police for not-the-first-time, she was arrested. The media is now absolutely unhinged in their coverage of this. Stacey Abrams is making comparisons of this bill to Jim Crow laws. And, the White House is condemning our reform efforts.
Election integrity will very much be on the ballot in 2022 – if we cannot keep a conservative majority. That’s what we’re committed to preserving.
We’re grateful for your thoughts, prayers, and support. We have much left to do, but we are grateful for this victory.
Proud of Georgia,
President and Executive Director
PS. There are now two legislative days left, and we have MUCH left to do. With election reform now passed, we are working to achieve big things for the cause of life, families, religious freedom, and educational opportunity. To help us achieve this legislative agenda, please help us reach our End of March goal of $2,325 with a contribution here at whatever level you feel God calling you to.
Legislative Day 35 is in the books, and, when the General Assembly gavels in on Monday, there will be 5 remaining days. Those five days are going to be long, arduous, and full of activity.
We’ll keep you updated along the way, but, today, I want to give everyone a brief answer to the question I get asked most: “So, what is going on with the election bills?”
First, let me stake out what, I think, is a series of consensus statements:
- There were issues in the 2020 election cycle.
- There are flaws in our system that can be exploited in 2022 and beyond.
- Every fraudulent ballot cast dilutes a valid ballot.
- The combination of the pandemic, the Democrat emphasis on mail-in ballots, and years of Stacey Abrams lawsuits that weakened our laws made this election more susceptible for fraud.
- If you truly care about democracy, you should care just as much about a secure vote as ensuring everyone can vote.
- Stacey Abrams and the radical left want to cheat. Those who care about a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished, don’t want to cheat. It’s their vote we need to protect from being diluted.
Second, let me tell you where we are in reaction to this:
- Citizens in Georgia have spoken up. Through our system alone, thousands of messages have been sent to leaders.
- Republican leaders in Georgia – from the Governor to House leadership to Senate leadership – are united behind significant reform. That’s not to say they are in 100% agreement on problems/solutions. But, there is agreement that there were problems and that we need to fix them.
- More than 70 election bills have been offered this legislative session.
- More than 10 bills of significance remain “alive” after Crossover – including the “omnibus bills” – that cover sweeping reforms (more than 60 pages each) from the House (HB 531) and Senate (SB 241). In addition, there’s another 90+ page bill that has been added to SB 202, and that continues to be adjusted. It’s possible that this may be the bill that gets to the finish line.
- These bills address a wide range of issues, and our confidence is HIGH that a bill – or multiple bills – will pass to address substantial concerns. Keep in mind that multiple bills have passed the Senate, many sponsored by members of leadership. The House passed a major bill, sponsored by a highly influential chairman. The support is there to make it happen.
Third, let me tell you what we’re encouraging on these bills. We support efforts to:
- End no-excuse absentee (I’ll note that there are legal experts that believe this may be problematic, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan – whose bill was the only omnibus bill that would have taken this step – has said publicly that there is not enough support to achieve this.)
- End “automatic voter registration” (I’ll note that there are legal experts that believe this may be problematic)
- Require photo ID for absentee ballots
- Make early voting hours more uniform and more manageable
- Curtail unsecure drop boxes and mobile voting
- Ensure there is no financial or tangible “gift” for voting (eg. providing meals outside the polling place)
- Address signature verification
- Prevent non-profits and outside organizations from sending unsolicited absentee ballot request or make it clear that what they are sending is NOT a state document
- Require regular and vigilant cleaning of the voter rolls
- Enforce transparency regarding number and types of ballots remaining to be counted
- Protect poll watchers and ensure viable observation
These measures and others, I believe, will take significant step toward restoring confidence and eliminating avenues for cheating.
So, what needs to happen between now and then:
- Utilize our Action Alert on Election Integrity to ask your legislators to vote for these bills.
- ENCOURAGE your legislator. There is enough agreement to pass bills of substance. But, the Democrats and media are trying to make this about “racism.” That’s insane! These legislators are not racist, and being accused of such evil tends to wear on someone. They’ve taken a lot of heat. Now is a time to encourage them.
- Let us know if you’d like to join us at the Capitol! The Left is sending angry, hostile, and dramatic activists who try to intimidate our legislators. I’m sure our legislator friends who support election integrity would enjoy seeing a friendly face.
- Consider supporting our legislative efforts with a $25, $100, $250, or greater donation to help our team reach the finish line this session.
I hope this was helpful. We’re working on a lot of issues to advance our values, and we’ll keep you updated on those. But, I wanted you to share what’s going on regarding an issue that is imperative to ensuring we have the ability to elect those who advance our values.
President and Executive Director
PS. We have more-than-doubled our investment in our policy efforts this legislative cycle. I believe the results are there. To help us with these costs, consider supporting our legislative efforts with a $25, $100, $250, or greater donation to help our team reach the finish line this session.
There’s such a difficult balance in the Christian walk, isn’t there? It’s one I’ve noticed all-the-more significantly since I left the private sector to run this ministry four years ago.
As Christians, we are commanded to be hard workers – to do what we are called to do with all our might and to be diligent in our labors (Proverbs 13:4). Such diligence is paramount, yet, if we yield to human nature, it can lead to numerous sinful attitudes: anxiety (“I have poured so much effort into this, therefore I am concerned for the outcome”), pride (“It’s been my labors, therefore, I should be due the credit”), and self-reliance (“I must count on my strategies, my talent, my labors to make this happen”).
It’s counter-intuitive to both fully embrace the level of excellence God has called us to in our labors – working hard, building the right teams, thinking things through diligently, and using the right strategies – and reject the natural attitudes that come with it.
After a milestone, like Crossover Day, I want to make sure that our attitudes reflect how He wants us to view things – grateful for the blessings He gave, confident and hopeful in His promises, committed to steadfast walking with Him, giving Him all the glory, not anxious, yet also diligent, strategic, and realistic in our preparations to meet the enormity of the challenges ahead.
With that in mind, here are some reflections on where we stand:
- First of all, I’m so thankful to have an awesome team down at the Capitol. Our staff, interns, and volunteers have made a positive impact, provided a strong sense of professionalism, and are a true reflection of Christ. Your generosity in allowing us to grow this team has yielded powerful results.
- We have endorsed numerous election integrity related bills. Most of those that we have supported, including the two large “omnibus” bills (HB 531 and SB 241) have passed their Chamber of origin. Here’s the challenge: those two bills – and the numerous others that passed – are different. Election reform will become law this year. How extensive those measures are, however, remains to be seen. We’ll be providing more information on these issues in a separate email soon.
- Our aggressive legislative agenda saw numerous victories on Crossover Day. Most notably, HB 290, the Right to Visit Bill – which protects the right of hospital patients to have physical contact with a legal representative and the right of long-term care patients to have a minimum of two essential caregivers with at least 2 hours/day of physical access – passed the House despite immense pressure from moneyed interests like the Chamber of Commerce working in opposition. This is a BIG victory for human dignity, and we’ve been honored to partner with Rep. Setzler on this.
- Another big win includes SB 226, the Anti-Obscenity Bill, which passed the Senate despite intense opposition from the political left and the education institutions. This is the first major step in addressing the crisis of obscene materials in schools. Sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte, this bill provides parents a right to be heard if they have concerns over material and requires the schools to respond in a timely manner – by either pulling the material or explaining why it doesn’t meet their definition of obscene. The process would then allow for parental appeal. We see this as a big win that we’ll continue to shape as it goes through the process.
- Other wins leading up to and on Crossover include (but are not limited to): SB 116 by Sen. Randy Robertson (Maternal Home Bill), HB 212 by Rep. Kasey Carpenter (Simon’s Law), HB 128 by Rep. Rick Williams (Gracie’s Law), SB 78 by Sen. Harold Jones (increasing penalties for “revenge porn”), HB 194 by Rep. Steven Sainz (protecting children from predators), SB 200 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (protecting religious freedom and small businesses during a pandemic), HB 114 and HB 154 by Rep. Bert Reeves (adoption reform), SB 51 by Sen. Bruce Thompson (Tebow/Mosely Bill), and SB 47 by Sen. Steve Gooch (Special Needs Scholarship).
- None of the bills mentioned above are “done” as they still have to pass the other chamber and be signed into law. However, these are strong wins to be grateful for!
- That said, there’s a lot that still needs to happen. Georgia still must do more to protect religious freedom (as the Supreme Court recently affirmed), Save Girls Sports did not get a vote in either Chamber, school choice measures were set to the side, free speech on college campuses did not get a vote, and so on. While we are thankful to the Lord for the things that did happen, we must be realistic in fighting for some major legislation that needs to rise to the forefront. I must confess to being frustrated, but I will commit that we will not stop fighting!
Please remain prayerful. There’s a long way to go. Just as the bills that passed one Chamber still need to pass the other, even the bills that did not pass are not “completely dead.” The Lord can still do miraculous things, and we are working behind the scenes – using the right strategies – to keep our priorities alive.
So, keep praying. If you feel led, join us at the Capitol. And, if you’re both excited about this work AND wanting to see more, please consider a $50, $100, $250, or greater donation today.
Pressing onward with a biblical perspective – working diligently and trusting Him.
President and Executive Director
It has been an odd week with the bitter cold and with the passing of two men (one local and one national) who have been vital to the conservative movement, State Senator Bud Estes (R-Dodge City), and conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh. We are in prayer for both the Estes and Limbaugh families.
Even with the bitter cold outside, there has still been a decent amount of activity inside the Capitol that affects family values. Here are some of the bills that are winding their way through the legislature that may be of interest to you and your family:
- H.B. 2119 will create the Student Empowerment Act for at-risk students.
- S.B. 61 will expand the existing low-income Student Tax Credit Scholarship that has already successfully helped hundreds of Kansas students have access to educational opportunities. It was passed by the Senate last week 24-14.
- HB 2054 will limit who may deliver advanced ballots and work to better enforce our current ballot harvesting prohibitions.
- HB 2183 will work to ensure the balance of power between the branches of government is respected in order to protect the election process.
- HB 2319 would shorten the time frame in which advanced ballots can be returned.
- HB 2339 was heard in committee this week and will expand the crime of election tampering.
- HB 2066 expands expedited licensing laws to other residential (or those intending to reside) applicants in Kansas. These types of laws free families to make the best work and family decisions for their particular circumstances. It also encourages families to move to our state by removing onerous and unnecessary regulations.
- HB 2184 would legalize the use of marijuana for certain medical purposes. We are watching this bill closely because bills like this often are used as a gateway to legalize recreational marijuana which is known to impact families in a multitude of ways.
Be on the lookout for more information about how we are working to protect mothers and babies through Value Them Both. And there is still time to contact your Senators about the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
There is a lot of activity in Kansas and we are so thankful to partner with you in protecting faith, family, and freedom!
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
On Friday, Statesman Academy℠ alumnus and Indiana congressman Jim Banks introduced an important election reform bill called the Save Democracy Act. Would you take a moment to ask your member of Congress to support it?
Banks, who is now Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, put forward this bill to address structural issues in American elections that were a cause of great concern even before last fall’s elections. For all elections involving federal candidates, it would require safeguards in the areas of voter registration, casting of ballots, and vote tabulation.
These reforms are needed for two reasons. First, they provide safeguards to election integrity in areas where specific concerns and allegations have arisen. Second, they address a crisis of a lack of voter trust in our election process. In 2020, that broken trust was experienced primarily by Republican voters, but in some prior years, the concerns came mainly from Democrat voters. Restoring trust in elections is critical to our system of government and shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
Specifically, the Save Democracy Act would, in federal elections, institute reforms to make voter registration, voting, and vote tabulation less susceptible. Here are key highlights:
- Prohibits automatic voter registration
- Requires voter citizenship verification
- Prohibits states from sending out unrequested absentee ballots
- Prohibits ballot harvesting
- Requires voter ID for absentee and in-person voting
- Requires that absentee ballots be received by the close of election day
- Strengthens protections for observing both voting and vote tabulation
- Requires that ballot counting, once begun, continue until completed—no delays or pauses
Please ask your member of Congress to sponsor and vote for the Save Democracy Act. It’s quick and easy on our Action Center. And please share this email or the link with others so they can take action as well.
Thanks for upholding election integrity!
Every day, Family Policy Alliance of Georgia® is working for a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Working alongside Georgians who share that vision, I can tell you this: those who share these values don’t want to cheat in elections.
It’s those who oppose these values – essentially, those whose values run counter to the fabric of our nation, hostile to basic truths, and antithetical to Scripture – that try to use every means necessary to install their preferred radical candidates.
There are a lot of unknowns about Georgia’s election, and there’s frankly misinformation swirling from every angle. However, while I’m concerned about the character attacks I’ve seen on our officials, I believe we all can agree on this fundamental truth: election reform must come to Georgia.
And, I believe it will. Our organization is committed to it. Governor Kemp has called for it and laid out several legislative items he wants to see. This week, the Senate Republican Caucus also issued a comprehensive statement addressing their strong stance for election reform. Election reform is coming to Georgia, and we are all in!
As you know, this is not one of our “core issues.” However, issues like life, religious freedom, and school choice will never win if the vote is being diluted by radical leftists exploiting the system to cheat. Will you stand with us in the fight for reform?
I know you’re receiving a lot of “asks” for funding this time of year – as year-end giving season is in full swing. However, I’d ask that you consider a donation to our lobbying efforts to help us secure the vote for years to come. Your gift of $25, $100, $250, or more today can make a profound impact for election reform – and the broader movement that depends on a fair process.
I’m going to be real with you: Stacey Abrams is coming back. Leading up to 2018, she and her legally suspect organization did all they could to make our state ripe for fraud. When she came up short in that election – despite cheating – she waged countless legal battles against the state and pushed her agenda for more fraud. In 2020, we have now seen the gains her voter fraud apparatus has been able to make. As we look to 2022, we know she, once again, has her eyes on the Governor’s Mansion.
That’s why, this legislative session, we’ll work with Governor Kemp and the conservatives under the Gold Dome to undo the effects of the consent decree entered by the Secretary of State in March, eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, require photo ID for absentee voting for cause, and work to end any avenue for ballot harvesting.
We look forward to engaging on these issues to make certain those who stand with us on the issues can win – and win fairly.
For Better Elections,
President and Executive Director
P.S. We have a strong legislative agenda we’ll be pursuing in the coming session. It’ll include election reform, yes, but it’ll also feature our fight for life, religious freedom, school choice, family values, and more. To advance this agenda and to strengthen our culture, our team is growing here in Georgia.
One of our new hires is one of the top rising lobbyists in the state, Brittany Ellison. Brittany joins our team having been recognized for her lobbying work and as a standout communications professional with numerous campaigns, including Heartbeat Bill sponsor Rep. Ed Setzler – who Brittany helped in his re-election bid where he defeated an onslaught of out-of-state money to win in a challenging district (one that Joe Biden won by several percentage points).
You’ll be hearing from Brittany soon, but I want you to know how excited we are by her addition to our growing team!