US Civil Rights Groups Sue Georgia Over Sweeping New Voting Restrictions

A coalition of civil rights groups has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Georgia’s sweeping new voting restrictions, arguing that the Republican-backed law is intended to make it harder for people – particularly Black voters – to cast ballots.

Among other limits, the law imposed stricter identification requirements, limited drop boxes, gave lawmakers the power to take over local elections and shortened the early voting period for all runoff elections. It also makes it a misdemeanor for people to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.

The legislation has alarmed Democrats, who just months ago celebrated historic wins in the presidential election and two Senate campaigns in Georgia that helped deliver the White House and U.S. Senate control to their party in Washington.

The complaint was filed in Atlanta federal court just hours after the legislation became law on Thursday by the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, Inc. Marc Elias, a Democratic lawyer who spearheaded the party’s election legal efforts last year, is representing the groups.

“These provisions lack any justification for their burdensome and discriminatory effects on voting,” the lawsuit said.

“Instead, they represent a hodgepodge of unnecessary restrictions that target almost every aspect of the voting process but serve no legitimate purpose or compelling state interest other than to make absentee, early, and election-day voting more difficult — especially for minority voters.”

Other Republican-controlled state legislatures are pursuing voting restrictions in key battleground states, including Florida and Arizona, after former President Donald Trump repeatedly blamed his loss to President Joe Biden on massive voter fraud without evidence.

Republicans have defended the legislation as necessary to make “our elections fair and secure,” as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp put it when signing the bill into law on Thursday.

Democrats and voting rights advocates decried the restrictions, which passed the legislature solely with Republican support, as a revival of racially discriminatory voting laws that will harm voters in minority communities, which are already plagued by long lines and inadequate election infrastructure.

Stacey Abrams, the prominent voting rights advocate and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, called the law “Jim Crow in a suit” on Twitter, referring to the era of racist laws that dominated the U.S. South for decades. At a news conference in Washington on Thursday, Biden called the push for new voting limits across the country “un-American.”

As he contested his national loss to Biden, Trump focused much of his energy in Georgia. At one point, he personally called the state’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, and urged him to “find” votes Trump claimed had gone missing.

That phone call is part of a criminal investigation by state prosecutors into whether Trump broke election laws by pressuring officials to alter the results.

Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Alistair Bell)

Responses

  1. “no legitimate purpose or compelling state interest other than to make absentee, early, and election-day voting more difficult — especially for minority voters.” BS on that!! How does this legislation target minority voters? It doesn’t, it can’t. They lie and lie and lie. This legislation will stop cheating, the opposite of what happened in Pennsylvania when the legislature dropped the requirement for voter ID 11 days before the Presidential election. Why would they do that except to let Democrats cheat? There’s no other reason.

  2. Let us vote – early and often even if we are dead, are 6 years old or have moved out of state.

  3. How many races cards in a deck?
    There is only one race, the human race.
    The bill passed both the State House and the State Senate.
    Where is the issue?

  4. its fairly easy to understand that the amount of mail in votes did in fact swing this election in a direction some could have predicted but some did not actually expect…. it seems the dems have figured out how to game the system… and it seems to have worked… the system needs to be reeled in for future campaigns… simple isn’t it…. if you plan on gaming the rules then the rules will change…. are ya catchin on YET hay hay and softa…. no more gaming the system…

  5. This rush by Kemp to push through anti fair voting laws is Jim Crow 2.0. It’s nothing more…

    1. jaybow, you aint’ NUTHIN but a mindless mynah bird. Explain how this is “Jim Crow 2.0”.

    2. Were you aware that the Jim Crow laws were created by Southern Democrats after the Civil War?
      Probably wasn’t taught that in what was American history before the liberals took over the educational system.

    3. Jim Crow existed 1830-1965. Get real! Then we had a black uprising 1963-1969. LE dealt with it as well as citizens. Racism exist with blacks. Whites don’t exhibit racism. Most blacks are racist.

  6. Stacey Abrams, the prominent watermelon seed spitting champion and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate,( Looser) called on BLM lawyers to allow her to be able to offer free chitlins, watermelon, chicken wings and catfish nuggets with cheap beer to any voters in line waiting to cast as many votes as they want, even if they mailed in 50 votes early with addresses that no one could read… she claims the new rules are limiting her plans for a new run for office in the near future and doesn’t think its fair for her to win…

    1. Hey, Dixter.
      Lay off the watermelon and other Southern food references.
      I’m a card carrying Southern boy.
      You’re making me hungry and it ain’t watermelon season yet.

  7. I guess the question i have is how GA officials can maintain it was a secure and accurate election, but then justify sweeping changes to voter restrictions unless they just want to make sure the outcome doesn’t occur again.

    Republican election strategy has been to limit voter access to polls – that’s all they’ve got since their platform certainly doesn’t entice voters.

    1. Penis, the only voters that will be eliminated from the polls are the Democrat Cheaters. Laws don’t, in any way, target any particular race. If you have an ID, you vote on election day unless you have a verifiable reason why you can’t make it. Les o’corse you a cheata. Doin’ drugs on the sofa while watching Sponge Bob Square Pants is not a reason.

      1. Unless of course you need to stand in line for over 8 hours because polling stations were cut in the largest black voting district in the state.

        I’ve lived generally in rural areas, this year was my first year in a slightly more populated city. I voted three weeks early and still stood in line longer than i ever have voting in WY on election day. And thats STILL not the lone lines the predominantly black counties had to deal with due to limited polling.

        If you’re going to limit the amount of time to vote, then you need to increase polling stations. Otherwise, yeah – you’re limiting voters ability to vote.

    2. You folks are crazy. Voters want a fair election. That should be on everyone’s mind except the voters who cheat and they who they are as well as the other voters.

    3. C’mon phoenix. Your first paragraph is a wheelbarrow full of horse manure. Your opinion you state in your second paragraph definitely does NOT justify or prove the FALSE INNUENDO contained in your first paragraph. In fact, your second paragraph is NOTHING BUT a tired old dim talking point.

      Maybe, just maybe, they realized they needed to clean up their act so they don’t come under more scrutiny next election. And you lefty’s call conservatives conspiracy nuts.

      1. And how is limiting early voting cleaning up anything other than limiting ability to vote. There are some things i totally understand – drop off ballot boxes to me are asking for fraud. But early in person voting? Whats the risk there other than helping lower wait times on election day?

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