Georgia voting law hit with second lawsuit alleging racial discrimination
Voting rights groups on Sunday filed a lawsuit against a Georgia law that imposes a raft of new voting restrictions, the second legal challenge to allege race-based discrimination against the law signed last week.
The 56-page complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta alleges that minority voters will be hit especially hard by the new legislation, which plaintiffs say illegally suppresses voters’ rights in violation of constitutional protections and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The lawsuit comes just days after Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a sweeping elections bill into law last week, tightening voting rules by limiting the use of ballot drop boxes and setting photo ID requirements for absentee voting, among other restrictions.
The complaint alleges that the law is the culmination of a “concerted effort” by Kemp and Republican state lawmakers in a “to suppress the participation of Black voters and other voters of color.” It claims the restrictions are a GOP response to demographic changes that contributed to the state favoring Democratic candidates in recent elections.
The state sent two Democratic senators to Washington after a pair of January runoff elections handed Democrats a razor-thin majority in the Senate. In November, President Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since former President Clinton in 1992.
“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 hold 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.”
The new Georgia voting law is among dozens of measures being considered by state legislatures across the country after former President Trump lied repeatedly about the 2020 presidential election being stolen through widespread voter fraud, a claim that is not supported by evidence.
The lawsuit was brought by Georgia NAACP, Galeo Latino Community Development Fund, the League of Women Voters of Georgia and others. It follows similar litigation filed last week by several voting rights groups with backing from Democratic lawyer Marc Elias.