A Georgia Democrat was arrested Thursday after she took part in a protest against Gov. Brian Kemp’s signing of a sweeping election reform bill.
State Rep. Park Cannon was handcuffed and escorted out of the state Capitol after law enforcement said she repeatedly banged on the door of a room where the governor was holding a press conference, the Georgia Department of Public Safety told the Washington Examiner.
The representative “was advised” to halt the activity on two occasions, but she “refused to stop knocking,” troopers said.
Cannon was part of a demonstration that opposed an election bill, which passed 34-20 in the state Senate and 100-75 in the state House, that imposed voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, gave state officials authority to take over local elections boards, limited the use of ballot drop boxes, and made it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water. Kemp signed the legislation Thursday.
“Why are you arresting her?” This Facebook Live video from @TWareStevens shows the moment authorities detained state Rep. Park Cannon as @GovKemp was behind those doors signing elections restrictions into law. #gapol pic.twitter.com/U1xMJ6tZrY
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) March 25, 2021
The Democrat was charged with obstruction of law enforcement, and she has since been booked into the Fulton County Jail. Cannon was seen on video flanked by two officers in an elevator as she said, “Where are you taking me?” and, “Stop,” according to Fox 5.
support,” Cannon wrote in a tweet Friday morning. “I’ve been released from jail. I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true.”
The lawmaker has likened the bill to “white supremacy” in her criticism.
“And make no mistake, when I say hate, I mean white supremacy,” she wrote in another tweet. “The closed-door signing of #SB202 and the senseless murder of #AAPI Georgians are both products of a white supremacist system. Different tactics, same goal: fear and control.”
The significant reforms “were needed,” and many “alarming issues” were raised in the wake of the November 2020 presidential election and the Georgia Senate runoffs, Kemp said. Two Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, defeated a pair of Republican incumbents, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, leading to a 50-50 split in the Senate.
“Significant reforms to our state elections were needed. There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled, and those problems, understandably, led to a crisis of confidence in the ballot box here in Georgia,” Kemp said after signing the bill into law.
The 95-page elections bill will not allow drop boxes to be available to voters in the last four days of an election when it’s normally too late to mail ballots out on time. Absentee voters would have to submit driver’s license numbers or other documentation under a process for checking someone’s identification, which would replace signature-matching processes.
Democrats have insisted there will be “an ongoing fight” regarding the legislation.
“I’m here because the work never ends,” Marla Cureton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a reminder to Democrats around the country that this is going to be an ongoing fight.”
A similar protest over the bill, which took place March 2, appeared to show demonstrators inside both chambers of the Georgia state Capitol. Cannon was seen confronting a trooper while those around her chanted, “Protect the vote” and, “Stop voter suppression.”
Cannon’s office did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.
Author : Jake Dima
Source : Washington Examiner : Georgia Democrat arrested after protesting election reform bill
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