LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued the following statement as Georgia lawmakers advance at least five proposals to restrict voting rights:

“The state of Georgia is threatening to put a chokehold on our elections. In a matter of weeks, the Georgia legislature has pushed measures to end automatic voter registration, limit absentee voting, and strengthen discriminatory voter identification laws. Another proposal, which would drastically reduce the number of ballot drop boxes statewide and limit weekend hours for early voting, just passed in the Georgia House yesterday. Georgia is backsliding toward a twisted electoral system built on suppressing and manipulating Black votes. But this is not only blatant voter suppression; it’s an act of retribution against Black voting power.

“Black voters, particularly Black voters in Georgia, achieved the unimaginable in this last election year, leveraging unprecedented turnout at the polls to deliver the deciding votes in the presidential election and flip the U.S. Senate. Our communities showed up in extraordinary numbers — including record-breaking absentee and early voter turnout — to transform this country, elect leaders who stand by our values, and protect our nation’s democracy. Now, lawmakers in Georgia and at least 42 other states are pushing unconstitutional legislation to roll back our voting rights, because they know what Black voting power is capable of and they view that power as a threat.

“But Black voters have sacrificed too much in these elections to turn our backs now. That is why Black Voters Matter is teaming up with the New Georgia Project, the Georgia NAACP, and dozens of other organizations from across the state on a major campaign to take a stand against this legislation. Starting tomorrow, our organizations will deploy statewide advertisements, launch phone banking campaigns, and drive local community actions at Georgia-based businesses to make our voices heard.

“With this campaign, we’re showing the state of Georgia that we’re more enthusiastic and energized than ever before, and that we’re fighting back against the forces of voter suppression and the disenfranchisement of our communities. Our local, state, and federal leaders need to step up, as well. Black voters gave elected representatives an incredible amount of power on Election Day, and it’s time that they use that power to continue our fight against this predatory legislation and help protect our communities.”