Civil rights teams sue Georgia over voting law

March 31 (UPI) – Several civil rights groups are suing the state of Georgia over last week’s electoral laws that make it difficult for Georgians of color to vote.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP, the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and several law firms, accuses the state of enacting law that violates both voting rights Act as well as the Voting Rights Act violate three amendments to the constitution by creating voting restrictions.

Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill previously approved by both the Senate and the State House of Representatives to restrict identification requirements for postal ballot requests, limit secure dropboxing, reduce early voting in runoffs, and ” Warming the Lines “criminalize when volunteers give water and snacks to those standing in line to vote.

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

The SB 202 legislation was proposed after record numbers of voters emerged for two Senate seats in both the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 runoff, with the Democrats winning all three competitions.

Opponents of the bill, including President Joe Biden, have compared it to Jim Crow-era laws in order to limit the choices of black Georgians after voting in record numbers.

The lawsuit states that while the provisions of SB 202 make it harder for all Georgians to vote, it will disproportionately affect color voters as they lack ID or access to get one, use early and weekend voting, and access secure dropboxes need and rely on water and snack handouts during your long waiting times in voting series.

“This burden is not an accident. It is also not legal,” said the lawsuit. “The challenged provisions of SB 202 deny color voters the full and equal opportunity to participate in the political process.”

Civil rights groups argue that each provision makes it difficult for “historically disenfranchised communities” to cast their votes, as postal voting restrictions, dropboxing restrictions and shortening the timeframe for early voting will force more people into long lines Election day when volunteers are not allowed to offer food and water.

Kemp, a Republican, defended the bill after it was passed on Twitter, saying: “[t]There is nothing ‘Jim Crow’ here when it comes to the voter ID filing a postal ballot “and that those who argue against it have not read it.

“Georgia’s electoral integrity law, which I signed into law, extends early voting and secures our voting system via email to protect the integrity of our elections,” he said in a second tweet.

In a statement on Friday, Biden called the law “un-American” and “an obvious attack on the constitution and a clear conscience.”

“This is Jim Crow in the 21st century,” he said. “It has to end.”

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