Several civil rights and voting rights groups have joined together to challenge SB 202, a bill that Georgia Republic Gov. Brian Kemp signed last week.
The bill requires voters to use identification cards to obtain an absentee ballot, limits access to voter ballot boxes and make it illegal to give voters food or water.
The suit — filed by the Georgia NAACP, Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, League of Women Voters of Georgia, GALEO Latino Community Development Fund, Common Cause and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe — claims “SB 202 is the culmination of a concerted effort to suppress the participation of Black voters and other voters of color by the Republican State Senate, State House, and Governor.”
“Unable to stem the tide of these demographic changes or change the voting patterns of voters of color, these officials have resorted to attempting to suppress the vote of Black voters and other voters of color in order to maintain the tenuous hols that the Republican Party has in Georgia,” the lawsuit states. “In other words, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means of achieving a partisan end. These efforts constitute intentional discrimination in violation of the Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”
This is the second federal lawsuit to challenge the election law that brings a raft of new voting restrictions to Georgia.Last week. New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund, and Rise, Inc. jointly filed a lawsuit challenging the bill.
The lawsuit was filed against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and members of the State Election Board.
“In large part because of the radical disparities in areas outside of voting — such as socioeconomic status, housing, and employment opportunities — the Voter Suppression Bill disproportionately impacts Black voters, and interacts with these vestiges of discrimination in Georgia to deny Black voters (an) equal opportunity to participate in the political process and/or elect a candidate of their choice,” the lawsuit states.
Republicans have been working hard to enact bills that heavily regulate voting access after last year’s elections. According to Brennan Center for Justice, 253 bills have been introduced this year in 43 state legislatures with terms that restrict voting access.