Civil rights activists say the lawsuit will disproportionately harm people of skin color.
A coalition of civil rights groups and individual activists has filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s new electoral law, which came into effect late last week by Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
According to CNN, the lawsuit is backed by a local chapter of the NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, the League of Women Voters of Georgia, the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund, Common Cause, and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe.
Taken together, these groups claim that Georgia Senate Bill 202 “is the culmination of a concerted effort to suppress the participation of the Republican Senate, State House, and governor in black and other color voters.”
The recently passed law is controversial in Georgia and the United States. Among other things, SB 202 prescribes identification requirements for postal votes, allows state officials to take over local electoral bodies, limits the use of ballot boxes in federal and state elections, and makes it a criminal offense to offer food or water to those waiting in line to vote.
Georgian lawmakers have stated that the bill, also known as The Election Integrity Act of 2021, is necessary to restore confidence in the state’s electoral processes.
Scales of justice. Image via Flickr / User: mikecogh. (CCA-BY-2.0).
On Twitter, the Georgia governor implied that SB 202 would fight electoral fraud – although there is no evidence that widespread electoral fraud occurred in 2020 in Georgia or anywhere else in the country.
“Georgia’s electoral integrity law, which I incorporated into the law, extends early voting and secures our voting system via email to protect the integrity of our elections,” wrote Governor Kemp. “The Peach State is a leader in facilitating voting and fraud.”
However, the NAACP and its allies claim that the law is less about trust than about achieving results similar to the 2020 elections, in which the Democrats won both seats in the Georgian Senate.
“These officials are unable to contain the tide of these demographic changes or change the voting patterns of color voters. They have tried to suppress the voting of black voters and other color voters in order to maintain the Republican Party’s weak influence in Georgia, “the lawsuit read. In other words, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means to achieve a partisan goal These efforts constitute willful discrimination in violation of the Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. “
Another lawsuit filed by election attorney Marc Elias on behalf of the New Georgia Project, by Black Voters Matter and Rise, Inc., was filed against SB 202 on Sunday.
This lawsuit also claims that the Electoral Integrity Act is nothing more than a ploy to discourage historically underrepresented voters from voting democratically.
“In large part because of racial disparities in areas outside of voting – such as socioeconomic status, housing and employment opportunities – the Voter Suppression Act disproportionately affects black voters and interacts with those traces of discrimination in Georgia to help them to deny black voters (in) equal opportunities to participate in the political process and / or to vote for a candidate of their choice, ”says Elias’ lawsuit.
Georgia’s new GOP electoral law attracts criticism and complaints
Groups file a second lawsuit against Georgia’s new electoral law