Three Federal Lawsuits Seek to Block New Georgia Voting Rules
Three federal lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of new voting rules the Georgia Legislature passed and Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law last Thursday.
All the complaints take issue with new requirements of Senate Bill 202 for absentee voting and ballot drop boxes, reductions in the early voting time frame, shortening of poll hours for some voters, banning handing out water and refreshments to those waiting in line and giving state legislators more control over local elections officials. The complaints suggest the new law is a political backlash against the record turnout of 2020 that flipped the state from Republican to Democrat for the president and two new U.S. senators—who tipped the balance of power in Washington.
“Georgia has been unrelenting in its effort to suppress the political participation of people of color,” said the latest complaint, filed Monday night by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center and law firms WilmerHale and Davis Wright Tremaine on behalf of the Sixth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Georgia Muslim Voter Project, Women Watch Afrika, Latino Community Fund Georgia and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. “But in the General Election and the Runoff Elections, many of these voters overcame such substantial barriers, in part due to the efforts of organizations, like Plaintiffs in this case, that expended efforts and resources to ensure that Georgians could cast their lawful vote.”
The complaint said “those who worked long days and multiple jobs and could not wait in such lines returned their ballots to a secure, video-monitored drop box” that many learned about from the plaintiffs’ education campaigns.
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Voting lines outside the Gwinnett County election offices in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Photo: John Disney/ALM)