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(KSTP TV) Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference on voting rights at the Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, June 25, 2021.

Georgia’s new voter suppression laws are getting attention — this time from the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, plans to sue the state of Georgia over Georgia State Bill 202. 

Three months ago, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed SB 202 to change Georgia’s election laws, after the legislation passed the Republican-controlled Georgia state government. Attorney General Garland noted that the bill violates the support provisions of the Voters’ Rights Act that address minority voters.

“Where we see violations of federal law, we will act,” AG Garland confirmed at a news conference. Following up, he stated that the law was enacted “with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color.”

Georgia law creates barriers to voting

SB 202 creates several barriers to voting, including mandatory voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, limiting drop box voting, and — the most controversial and inhumane aspect — prohibiting citizens from providing food and water to voters waiting in line to reach the polls. 

The Civil Rights Division leader at the United States Department of Justice, Kristen Clarke, said the new Georgia law unfairly targets Black and minority voters. “These legislative actions occurred at a time when the Black population in Georgia continues to steadily increase and after a historic election that saw record voter turnout across the state, particularly for absentee voting, which Black voters are now more likely to use than White voters,” Ms. Clarke said during a news conference announcing the litigation. “Our complaint challenges several provisions of SB 202 on the grounds that they were adopted with the intent to deny Black citizens equal access to the political process.”

GOP hits back, says Biden “weaponizing” DOJ

Meanwhile, the GOP is ready for a fight to keep Black and Brown citizens from voting. In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, “After failing to sell the partisan federal election takeover known as H.R.1 to the American people, Joe Biden is now weaponizing the Justice Department.” 

The case against the state of Georgia is merely the first in the Biden administration’s plans to address voter suppression tactics that are being enacted in several states across the country. Currently 17 state Governors have signed over 20 laws that restrict voting rights under the guise of “protecting election integrity.” 

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

One reply on “U.S. Attorney General plans to sue Georgia over voting restrictions”

  1. This is fantastic news. The Right constantly frames the debate over a non issue, as usual, to keep attention away from the very real anti-democratic laws passed from a single template developed by the Heritage Foundation. Time after time you hear Red state legislators sound completely at a loss as to what they actually passed. That is because they did not write or debate the laws, they just rubber stamped what they were told. Much like the Senate gave us Judges 3 months out of law school if they were suitably right wing approved by the Heritage Foundation.

    MAGA media constantly says the issue is Voter ID which is never the case. We all want voter ID, just standardized and at no cost. Texas refuses to recognize student ID’s but does recognize Gun owner ID’s. Gee, what voter does that favor?
    The truth is not even really debatable as many Republicans come right out and say, such as Trump,” if everyone can vote we’ll never win another election! Or the Supreme Court finding that the Republican’s claim that asking about Citizenship will help them enforce the voting rights act being declared by the Court as a position separate from the Truth. Or commonly known as a lie. The man who designed the questions openly stated this was to help gerrymandering to suppress minority voting.

    NEWS FLASH, the issue is not voter ID, it is laws that take elections away from the Secretary of State and allow the legislature to declare any winner it wants regardless of any vote count. Other issues are reducing voting sites and times to keep minority community lines long and frustrating, allowing partisan vote “observers” to challenge and hold up vote counts on any absurd pretext. Now Italian Satellites controlling voting machines and Asian bamboo paper ballots being submitted by the tens of thousands in Arizona will gain legal status and be allowed to challenge elections without any evidence only the rantings of a Q following “observer”. Or forbidding early Sunday voting to thwart traditional church souls to the polls events. And on and on.

    But Fox and other anti-democracy r radio personalities like Levin and Hannity never talk about the real laws. They just claim it’s about Voter ID. We have always supported then if ID’s are fair and affordable. They flat out state the Lewis Act “favors Dem voters” that’s why they oppose it. They always admit their goal is to eliminate Dem voters, eliminate voters, not encourage voting. PLEASE talk to everyone you know and get the truth out about the AG’s actions. We want ID, we want voters to be able to vote and the vote to be counted not sent to partisan legislators to make any call they wish. .

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