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The controversial new electoral law in Georgia is now facing challenges from civil rights groups through three lawsuits from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP alleging that it deliberately discriminated against black voters.

Brian Kemp, Georgia Governor at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on May 7, 2020 in … [+] Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Austin McAfee / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Key factors

Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday signed Law SB 202, which introduced such controversial provisions as proving identification of postal ballot papers, limiting ballot boxes, restricting mobile voting units, changing the timing of requesting postal ballot papers and criminalizing the provision of food and water contains voters waiting in line.

The ACLU and its Georgia Chapter, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed lawsuits on behalf of Georgia groups including the Sixth Ward of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, and Latino a federal court against the state a community fund Georgia.

The “burdens” of Georgian law are disproportionately perceived by colored voters, especially black voters. The groups stated that “exposure is not an accident,” and they argue that the law illegally violates the Suffrage Act and the First, Fourteenth and Fourth Acts of the Fifteenth Amendments.

The ACLU lawsuit follows a separate NAACP-led lawsuit filed by civil rights groups on Sunday. Similarly, the bill is claimed to be “the culmination of a concerted effort to suppress the participation of black and other color voters” by the state’s Republican officials.

The New Georgia Project group, led by Stacey Abrams, and other electoral groups filed the first lawsuit against the law on Thursday evening, hours after the law went into effect.

Crucial quote

“The restrictions [in S.B. 202] have markedly different influences on voters from historically disenfranchised communities – a result so clear that it can only be intentional, “claims the lawsuit, arguing with the law,” to systematically and deliberately burden these populations with incriminating burdens to suppress their voices because there is no factual justification for the changes. “

Big number

30%. This is the percentage of black voters within the Georgian electorate who voted in the November parliamentary elections, according to the ACLU lawsuit, after the number of voter registrations among black voters rose 25% from 2016. Five million Georgian voters cast one vote in the elections, up from 4.1 million in 2016.

Chief critic

Republicans have defended Georgia’s law as necessary to ensure “electoral integrity” and have objected to proposals that the bill deliberately suppress color voters. “This bill expands access to voting, streamlines voting procedures and ensures the integrity of the elections. It’s not “Jim Crow” to ask for a photo or state-issued ID to vote in absentia, “Kemp said in a statement Friday about the law after criticizing it from President Joe Biden. “President Biden, the left and the national media are determined to destroy the sanctity and security of the ballot box.”

Key background

Georgia’s electoral law comes after Democrats Joe Biden and Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff all promoted the embattled battlefield state that normally voted Republicans in November’s parliamentary and runoff elections. Biden’s victory in Georgia and other battlefield states has been heavily denied by Trump and his GOP allies, who have made allegations of electoral fraud, unfounded on evidence and repeatedly quashed in court and even by Republican electoral officials of Georgia. Georgia law is one of several restrictive voting rules currently under scrutiny by Republican lawmakers across the country: Iowa has also passed new restrictive voting rules, and an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice in February found that more than 253 such bills have been passed far in 43 states. However, Democrats in Congress are also working to pass the HR 1 Voting Rights Act, which would expand nationwide electoral access and lift many of these electoral restrictions. The House passed the bill, but it could face fewer chances in the Senate, where major lawmakers like Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) have not yet signaled whether they would support the legislation.

further reading

Georgia Signed Comprehensive Voting Restrictions (Forbes)

Group founded by Stacey Abrams sues Georgia over “Voter Suppression Bill” (Forbes)

GOP-backed voting restrictions in Georgia are being pushed back by the business lobby (Forbes)

What is Georgia’s new electoral law SB 202 doing? (NPR)