Georgia Republicans pass sweeping voting restrictions - should more states?
Do you want your state to pass tighter voter restrictions?
By Josh Herman, Countable News
What's the story?
- As of April 2021, Georgia is the first 2020 battleground state to pass sweeping legislation to roll back voting rights in spite of no evidence of widespread fraud in November's election. President Joe Biden won the state by a mere 12,000 votes in November.
- Voting rights groups say the law will disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color. Shortly after the legislation's passage, several civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against Georgia officials.
- Across the U.S., GOP politicians have proposed 253 laws, in 43 states, to restrict voting access, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice.
What are people saying?
- Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said during the signing:
"Few [bills] are more important than the law I signed moments ago" which ensures Georgia’s elections are "secure, accessible and fair."
- Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon (D) was arrested and forcibly removed from the Capitol for knocking on the door of Gov. Kemp as he signed the law.
- "It's like the Christmas tree of goodies for voter suppression," Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan said on the Senate floor.
- During his first press conference Thursday, President Biden called GOP efforts to restrict voting in states like Georgia "pernicious, "un-American," and "sick."
- But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed during a hearing that Democrats' voting rights bill - the "For the People Act" - is unnecessary because "states are not engaging in trying to suppress voters whatsoever."
What does the new law do?
- Imposes new ID requirements
- Limits the use of ballot drop boxes
- Allows challenges to voting eligibility
- Changes early voting hours
- Prohibits third parties from collecting absentee ballots
- Criminalizes attempts to provide food and water to voters in line
- Makes it easier for state officials to take over local elections
- "[R]eplace[s] the elected secretary of state as the chair of the state election board with a new appointee of the legislature after Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rebuffed Trump’s attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results," AP reported.
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