Civil Rights Teams Sue Georgia Over New Sweeping Voter Suppression Regulation

“… The provisions of the new law and the manner in which it was enacted reflect a thorough disregard for the sanctity of the protection of the right to vote and an upside down and determined zeal to reduce the political power of blacks in Georgia,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the LDF and Director-Counsel. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

ATLANTA civil rights groups have filed a new federal lawsuit against the comprehensive Georgian law, which makes it very difficult for all Georgians, especially color voters, new citizens and religious groups, to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Georgia ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and WilmerHale and Davis Wright Tremaine law firms are holding the case on behalf of the Sixth District of the United States submitted African Methodist Episcopal Church, Project for Muslim Voters in Georgia, Women Watch Africa, Latino Community Fund Georgia and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The law under appeal is SB 202, which was passed by the Georgia House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by Governor Brian Kemp last Thursday in less than seven hours. The actions of these elected officials follow the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 runoff for two seats in the US Senate, which saw voter turnout, particularly black voters, record high in Georgia.

The elections were celebrated not only for their turnout but also for their integrity. Georgian officials praised them as safe and secure. But instead of expanding participation in the political process, Georgian leaders responded with what they have often done in the history of the state: They placed burdensome, unjustified and unnecessary on voters, especially color voters and other historically disenfranchised communities Restrictions on.

The lawsuit challenges several provisions in SB 202, including:

  • Ban on mobile voting
  • new tight identification requirements for applying for and submitting a postal vote
  • late and compressed deadline for requesting postal ballot papers
  • Safe Dropbox Restrictions
  • provisional disqualification outside the constituency
  • drastic reduction in early voting in run-off elections
  • Perhaps most cruel is the ban on “warming the pipes”, in which volunteers offer Georgians water and snacks that are disproportionately colored and wait in unnecessarily long lines to cast their votes

These provisions, the indictment, violate Section 2 of the Suffrage Act and violate the rights of Georgians under the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

“This law is driven by overt racism, represents politics at its worst, and is clearly illegal,” said Sophia Lakin, deputy director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “We urge the court to act quickly to put it down.”

“Legislators and Governor Kemp ignored the very obvious lessons of the 2020 elections and the 2021 runoff elections: expanding secure access to ballot papers, codifying innovations for voting, and providing additional resources to financially troubled counties,” said Nancy Abudu , Deputy Legal Director of the SPLC. “To appease conspiracy theorists and reinforce deadly lies about past elections, the Georgian heads of state and government have decided to pass Law SB 202, which makes it more difficult for every Georgian – but especially for Georgians who are members of historically disenfranchised communities To choose in a country safe, secure and convenient way and let that vote count. In doing so, the defendants have violated federal law and the US Constitution, and we are reaching out to federal courts and the US Congress to discuss the incredible damage SB 202 will do to our customers. “

“SB 202 is perhaps the boldest and most shameful voter suppression law ever passed. Its purpose and aim are clear: to create barriers to voting for black voters, which emerged in record numbers in the presidential election in November 2020 and the special election in January 2021. The provisions of the new law and the manner in which it was enacted reflect a thorough disregard for the sanctity of protecting the right to vote and an upside down and determined zeal to reduce the political power of blacks in Georgia, ”said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director of the LDF Council. “This is a powerful moment for democracy in this country. SB 202’s attempt to disenfranchise black voters in Georgia dates back to the most shameful days of voter suppression in the decades before the civil rights movement. It is shameful that this law was passed in Georgia less than a year after the death of one of the state’s greatest heroes, Representative John Lewis. On his behalf we will fight to put down this illegal attempt to undo his legacy. Anything else poses a serious threat to the future of our democracy and inherently undermines the notion of equality for all. “

“Democracy depends on people freely expressing their voices through their voices,” said WilmerHale partner Debo P. Adegbile. “Georgia’s bus obstruction law is a prime example of modern electoral repression and undermines democracy. Much has changed in Georgia, but the commitment to outrageously disenfranchising voters has clearly not changed. “

“SB 202 attacks the most sacred foundations of our democracy. But in this country the law gives every American citizen the same right to be heard at the ballot box, no matter who he is. And we intend to defend that right in court, ”said Adam Sieff, attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine.

The lawsuit, Sixth Ward, African Methodist Episcopal Church v. Kemp, has been filed in federal court in Atlanta.



Comments are closed.