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‘Votercade’ held in Augusta for John Lewis Day of Action

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 11:36 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Today is the John Lewis Day of Action, and people nationwide participated in voting rights events at 150 different locations.

Here at home, a “votercade” (read: a motorcade for voters) started at Southgate Plaza and ended at James Brown Arena.

Organizers say it was all to bring attention to two federal voting bills that could impact Georgia’s new voting policies.

“We’re asking our Congress when they come back and convene on May 11, to please pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act,” said Traci George, motorcade co-organizer.

The For the People Act would create automatic voter registration, expand early voting, and limit states’ abilities to remove voters from their rolls-- to name a few.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would allow the federal government to have stricter oversight on voting rules in states and counties with a history of discrimination.

Opponents say the bills would take too many rights away from states, but organizers of the motorcade say they want these bills to pass as a way to void parts of Georgia’s new voting law, SB 202.

“These voter suppression things that are happening across the state-- it will make that moot,” said Gayla Keesee, motorcade co-organizer.

The event had music, food, and live performances. But besides all that, organizers say their main goal was to educate. It’s why attendees could also swing by and take a look at an electronic voting machine in case they weren’t familiar with one yet.

Lynn Bailey, Executive Director of the Richmond County Board of Elections, says education about the new laws and bills is key too. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on.

“I’m not saying if they’re good or bad, it’s just change-- so you need to be aware of it,” said Bailey.

The event also held a moment of Ahmaud Arbery, whose birthday was today. He would have been 27 years old.

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