ACLU of Georgia

'This is Jim Crow 2.0': Experts react to SB202

By Danae Bucci | WJCL | March 26, 2021

Georgia Senate Bill 202 promises to forever change voting in the state with some political experts saying it will bring the state backward, rather than forwards.

Georgia Senate Bill 202 promises to forever change voting in the state with some political experts saying it will bring the state backward, rather than forwards.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the 95-page bill Thursday shortly after it was passed in the house and senate with no democrats backing it. The bill brings sweeping measures to the state’s election laws including requiring proof of identification when sending in absentee ballots and making it illegal to pass out food and water to voters in line.

“This is Jim Crow 2.0,” said ACLU Georgia Political Director Christopher Bruce. “This is a bill that will disenfranchise thousands of Georgians and is completely unnecessary.”

Violation of these laws is punishable by a misdemeanor.

Voting rights activist Shirley James says the sudden change is frustrating.

“To follow the laws that had already been in place and turnout out to vote just to show that they were engaging in the process and now it’s like a slap in the face,” she said.

Lawmakers say they made the changes in order to provide better election security despite there being few cases of fraud in the last election.

“There are only something like eight instances of voter fraud that involved individuals who were voting when they shouldn’t vote,” Georgia Southern University political science professor Dr. Kimberly Martin said.

The bill is already under threat from lawsuits, which Martin says is just one way the bill could get overturned.

“There’s some federal issues,” Martin said. “Some federal ways this could get overturned and there are also some court systems that this could get overturned as well.”