Georgia Voter Suppression Law Will Move Us Backwards
ATLANTA, GA – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an omnibus bill into law Thursday night that will make sweeping changes to the state’s election procedures, making it significantly harder to vote following record turnout in the 2020 elections. Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is among the co-counsel representing FairFight Action in FairFight Action v. Raffensperger, a broad case addressing many existing deficiencies in Georgia’s electoral system on behalf of Georgia voters. CLC will continue to fight on behalf of Georgia voters, even as new burdens have been imposed.
“Georgia’s voter suppression law is democracy in reverse,” said Caleb Jackson, legal counsel, voting rights at Campaign Legal Center (CLC). “In our country, voters pick their politicians. The brazen power grab on display in Georgia is an attempt by politicians to cherry-pick their voters, making it more difficult for communities of color to exercise their freedom to vote. Georgia’s legislative push is part of a nationwide backlash responding to the multi-racial coalition that voted in record numbers in 2020. This anti-voter trend should alarm the entire nation at a time when the federal court system has chipped away at legal protections for voters that have historically faced discrimination at the ballot box.”
The law, SB 202, would allow a state takeover of county election boards and permit partisan poll watchers to launch unlimited challenges to voter eligibility. It will also restrict access to ballot drop boxes and make it a crime for volunteers to pass out food and water to voters waiting in line at voting centers. Augusta, Georgia disability rights advocate Gaylon Tootle recently described the attitude behind this provision as “a mean-spirited, Southern plantation style mentality.”
SB 202 would also allow the state to relocate polling places just 60 days before an election and toss out the ballots of confused voters who show up to the wrong polling place as a result.
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