Georgians are circulating petitions demanding that the state government, particularly the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) begins responding to their requests for information.
“This petition was started and organized by residents all throughout the State of Georgia that have filed claims with the Georgia Department of Labor,” says a Change.org petition started by Felicia Primus. “Many of Georgia Residents [sic] haven’t received any updates on claims or they’re missing payments from the Department of Labor. GDOL has not provided better Self-service [sic] options for its website or phone support to help with the increasing demand of unemployment claims, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The petition, which was launched months ago but has been recently re-invigorated, has more than 250 signatures. It is directed at Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R).
It was shared by Twitter user @mariemoore138 Thursday.
— Marie Moore (@mariemoore138) January 28, 2021
A similar petition titled “Reform for Georgia Department of Labor” has 140 signatures.
“Thousands of Georgians are unemployed and seeking unemployment benefits due to COVID-19,” that petition says. “Many of us are facing eviction, bills overdue and no food for our families while we wait on Georgia’s Department of Labor and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler to process claims. We are caught up in bureaucracy while our families suffer.”
“Mark Butler is the Labor Commissioner and he needs to do his job and serve the people of Georgia,” it continued. “We need reform and accountability because our families deserve better!”
The apparent lack of responsiveness from the Department of Labor is part of a broader trend in the state government.
Georgia was a hotbed for controversy during the 2020 election cycle.
The Secretary of State’s office still has not answered questions regarding the missing chain of custody documents from the November 3 election. It begrudgingly audited its absentee voting process in Cobb County, but refused to transparently explain the audit process. There were also serious questions regarding who was able to vote in the January 5 U.S. Senate runoff election via “rollover” absentee ballots.
On these occasions and others in the aftermath of the elections, The Georgia Star News attempted to communicate with the Secretary of State’s office. None of the Star News’ comment requests were returned, and our questions went answered.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to email@example.com.