Atlanta – Election integrity activists claim that some parts of the new electoral law in Georgia criminalize regular election observation activities, and the state says these provisions have strengthened prior protections and electoral integrity. Claims necessary.

A federal judge heard a debate Thursday over demands by activists to ban election officials from enforcing these regulations, but did not immediately rule on those demands.

The Georgian electoral rules review has received widespread criticism from the Democratic Party and others that it will be difficult to vote, especially for voters, as well as similar measures enacted in other Republican-controlled states this year. ..

There are eight federal cases challenging aspects of Georgia’s new law, including one filed by the US Department of Justice last week. They mainly cover some of the laws that critics say threaten the right to vote. Thursday’s hearing focused on only a handful of provisions and did not cover the most criticized parts of the law.

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The provisions at issue primarily concern observing or photographing part of the electoral process.

Bruce Brown, an attorney and activist who filed the lawsuit, said the state misrepresented the law as promoting transparency and electoral integrity.

“You say so, but transparency means false transparency,” Brown said in an online hearing. “It’s a transparent theater. It’s a sincere theater. “

Instead, Mr Brown said the law’s controversial provisions effectively hampered election transparency and threatened voters and media outlets who took public oversight of the conduct of the elections.

Prosecutor Brian Tyson argued that controversial regulations were needed to protect ballot secrets and the integrity of state elections. He also said that none of the activists intended to violate the controversial regulations and that if they did not violate these regulations, they would not be harmed.

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The First Amendment for Georgia has put forward a summary of the proceedings, stating that the new law will impose “new and dangerous restrictions on reporting that undermine the ability of the public and the press to continue to inform about the elections in Georgia”. ..

One of the controversial provisions is the conscious observation of voters “so that they can see who or what they are voting”. I will make you a crime. Brown showed a picture of a large, upright touchscreen voting machine and said it was almost impossible for anyone at a polling station to see a person’s voting method.

Tyson argued that the new provisions apply to deliberate attempts to see a person’s voice rather than casual observation.

The second provision is to “transmit the information that observers and observers see during the postal vote to anyone other than the election administrator who may need that information to lawfully carry out their duties”. Is prohibited. The other is to hold observer and observer responsible for estimating the number of postal votes or the number of postal votes. Brown said both of these provisions are an attempt to silence critics and curb unfavorable press coverage of the conduct of elections.

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Tyson said the new law would allow postal votes to be scanned weeks before the election, so the number of votes should not be released until the vote is over.

“During the vote or while the voter’s vote is displayed on such an electronic marker,” a provision claims that it is prohibited to photograph the face of a touchscreen voting slip or a photo of the voting slip. During the 2020 election, he showed the judge a famous news photo of an election worker counting the votes and ballot papers of prominent public figures.

With a few exceptions, photography is restricted within the polling station, Tyson said. He mentioned the possibility of a vote-buying system in which voters must provide a photo of how they cast their vote.

Activists are also requesting the deadline to request postal votes 11 days before the election. The deadline for determining the election result can be 11 days before the final vote. In other words, Mr Brown argued that he might not be able to get a postal vote for the election results.

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Mr Tyson said there was an early tidal wave on election night and it was clear that voters would not have to wait for evidence of the results to request a postal vote.

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