State Senator Nikema Williams was one of more than 15 who were arrested at a rally in the Georgia State Capitol that urged Georgia officials to count every vote. But it wasn’t a symbolic arrest; it was a real one.
— Adam Murphy (@MurphyCBS46) November 13, 2018
Tamika Middleton, local organizer, released the following statement:
“Senator Nikema Williams was arrested in the Georgia State Capitol for literally doing her job as an elected official. We are disgusted by the aggressive intimidation tactics by police — the latest effort at voter suppression to silence the voices of Black people. This is 2018 and we will not allow Jim Crow South to rear its ugly head again in Georgia. We demand the immediate release of Senator Williams and all of the peaceful protestors who were arrested.”
Senator Williams herself said “I’m being arrested because I refused to leave the floor of a body I serve in. I’m a state senator. I was not yelling. I was not chanting. I stood peacefully next to my constituents because they wanted their voices to be heard, and now I’m being arrested.”
Allegations of voter suppression have been widespread in the Georgia election. 12 counties prematurely certified election results in advance of all votes being counted. On Election Day, polling stations across the state reported machine malfunction, five-hour lines, and shortages of voting machines. And last month, Secretary Brian Kemp was reported to have purged 340,000 voters from state registration rolls, many concentrated in Black communities.