The state of Georgia was handed a third lawsuit in response to it’s newly passed voting restrictions.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta late on Monday called the law racially discriminatory and “an attack on democracy itself”.
“This law is voter suppression, plain and simple, and aimed at making it harder for Black and Brown and other historically disenfranchised communities to have a voice in our democracy,” Sophia Lakin with the American Civil Liberties Union said. “It is an absolutely shameful response to the historic participation by these communities in the last election cycle.”
The ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed the latest lawsuit on behalf of several grassroots groups. They included the Sixth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), which takes in more than 500 churches in Georgia, and the historically Black sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
The state already faces two other similar lawsuits brought by civil rights groups over the law.
Activists are also calling on Atlanta-based corporations Coca-Cola Co. and Delta Airlines to do more against the restrictions.
“While we are disappointed by the outcome, we don’t see this as the final chapter,” Coco-Cola said in a statement.
Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said on Friday the airline had “engaged extensively with state elected officials in both parties to express our strong view that Georgia must have a fair and secure election process”, and that the legislation had “improved considerably” during legislative deliberations.
“Nonetheless, we understand concerns remain,” Bastian said.
Bernice King, the daughter of late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote an open letter criticizing the Atlanta business community for its silence. The letter was signed by John-Miles Lewis, the son of late Congressman John Lewis, and Al Vivian, the son of the late Reverend C.T. Vivian.
The bill, which Governor Brian Kemp signed last week, requires identification to obtain an absentee ballot, gives lawmakers the right to take over local elections, limited access to ballot drop boxes, prohibited members of the public to distribute food and water to voters standing in line, and shortened early voting for runoffs.