The Andrew Goodman Foundation Reacts To Proposed Elimination Of On-Campus Early Voting Locations in Fulton County, Georgia

Georgia’s Fulton County elections officials signaled the elimination of on-campus early voting locations for this November’s Georgia General Election. This harmful overture would affect nearly 90,000 students, approximately 30% of which are Black students, across seven colleges and universities in Fulton County, including Georgia State University, a Predominantly Black Institution, and four Historically Black Colleges & Universities (Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College). The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) is disappointed by the proposed reversal by Fulton County election officials which, pending a final vote, threatens to remove polling locations that were available to students in 2018 and 2020 and make it more difficult for them to vote. 

“When I was an Andrew Goodman Ambassador and student at Georgia State University, I advocated for our on-campus polling location to be entirely run by student poll workers, and I served as a poll worker there myself. I am disappointed to see that not only would students’ advocacy be overturned by this proposal, but so would the accessibility that students have a right to and that enables them to make their voices heard in our democracy,” says Evan Malbrough, a member of AGF’s Board of Directors. 

In 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law SB202, 95 pages of voting restrictions, including limitations on voting by mail and the criminalization of handing out water to people waiting in line to vote. This law was a direct response to record Black youth voter turnout in Georgia in the 2020 Presidential Election. Combined with this law which limits voting by mail, the proposed elimination and roll-back of in-person early voting options means that students in Georgia — and Black students in particular — would face even more restrictions on their vote. 

“The proposed elimination and roll-back of early on-campus voting sites in Fulton County, which is home to four Andrew Goodman Campuses, must be stopped in its tracks. The Andrew Goodman Foundation works to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy. Across our network, we have fought for expanded access to on-campus voting sites through organizing, education, advocacy — and litigation when necessary. The courts and legislatures have affirmed student voting rights, including their right to vote from centralized locations where they work, study, and in many cases, live,” says Yael Bromberg, Esq., Special Counsel and Strategic Advisor to the President/CEO of The Andrew Goodman Foundation.

The Andrew Goodman Foundation was established to continue the purpose of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner’s lives. Because they sought to register Black Americans to vote during 1964’s Freedom Summer, the Ku Klux Klan murdered them, and their bodies were not found until 44 days later on August 4, the anniversary of which we will mourn this Thursday. The Andrew Goodman Foundation cannot stand by any attempt to return to an era of limiting access to the ballot. We are disappointed by Fulton County election officials’ proposal, and call on the Fulton County Boards of Elections and Commissioners to maintain the on-campus early voting locations and ensure that students can still make their voices heard.