Georgia Enacts Bill Suppressing Voting Rights of Disadvantaged Voters

Republican state politicians are doing their best to use the power they still have to ensure their win in the next elections, even without majority support. The majority being the members of the minority groups in their jurisdictions. The state of Georgia for one, has already passed and enacted the Election Integrity Act put forward by the Republican-controlled state senate and signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp

However, Democrats, civic rights groups and other political observers call Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, a voter suppression bill as the extraordinary provisions include the following:

  • Restricting limits in the usage of ballot drop boxes;
  • Requiring the inclusion of a photo ID, driver’s license number, or state ID number in absentee ballots
  • Restricting Sunday voting to only one Sunday for each county and;
  • Prohibiting distribution of drinks and food to voters waiting in line to vote.

Obviously, the elimination of early voting during Sundays directly suppresses the “Souls to the Polls” mobilization drives being carried out by Black churches. The rest of the restrictions put minority voters at a disadvantage by voter purging, mandating restrictive voter ID requirements, limiting voting hours, and closing polling locations in areas where the majority of voters are Democrats.

Law Being Legally Challenged by Three Civic Groups

The Rise, the New Georgia Project and the Black Voters Matter Fund, have filed a lawsuit against state officials last Thursday, as the Election Integrity Act violates the Voting Rights Act. Their complaint to the federal court is that the law’s restrictions would disproportionately affect minority voters.

On the other hand, Republicans believe that the act would rebuild the confidence in the election system.

Legal director of Black Voters Matter, April England-Albright asserts that the modification in the state’s voting rules comes after the high voter turnout from the last elections vote for Democratic candidates.

Albright said that the state officials want to prevent the communities that caused the high turnout from using mail, drop off boxes, and early voting. These methods of voting actually increased participation and representation of voters, all which worked in favor of Democratic candidates, specifically President Joe Biden and Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof.

As the lawsuits included the Secretary of State as defendant, Ms. Albright contends that the goal of the office of the Secretary of State is to make the election process easier, not harder.