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Georgia Coalition Rallies to Register Voters

Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia STAND-UP, speaks during National Voter Registration Day at the state Capitol.
Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia STAND-UP, speaks during National Voter Registration Day at the state Capitol.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. And with midterm elections just over a month away, a coalition of groups gathered at the state Capitol to urge Georgians to sign up.

Broadcast version.

The NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and Georgia Equality were just some of the groups that showed up. Roland Carlisle is with 9 to 5, a group that fights for workplace equality. He invoked the struggle of Civil Rights leaders, such as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Please indulge in the fruits provided by those that have labored before us and never take this right for granted because there are those around the world and even some U.S. citizens that do not have the privilege to vote,” he said.

The coalition held voter registration drives Tuesday at colleges, MARTA stations, and malls in metro Atlanta. The registration deadline for November’s election is October 6.

Some were concerned a state investigation involving forms flagged as “suspicious” by a voter registration group could hamper registration efforts. But others said it could add fuel to the movement.

Helen Kim Ho is the executive director of the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center. The organization is campaigning to register 10,000 Korean Americans in Gwinnett County.

“I registered a Korean senior and I asked him, ‘Why do you want to vote?’ And he said, ‘Well, it’s the one gift you get for becoming a citizen of the United States,’” Ho said.

AALAC revealed a campaign billboard in Duluth afterwards. It stands at the corner of Steve Reynolds Blvd and Pleasant Hill reminding Korean Americans their votes matter.