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Georgia faces fifth suit challenging new voting law

Georgia faces fifth suit challenging new voting law

The state of Georgia is facing another lawsuit against its new voting law from a coalition of voting rights groups.

The Georgia law, passed last month along party lines, imposes restrictions that voting rights groups say will fall most heavily on minorities. It sets new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, limits drop boxes and even bars passing out food and water to those waiting in line to vote. 

“Georgia’s recent election experience demonstrated the overwhelming support for election laws that allow voters to cast their ballot safely and freely, whether they live in a small town or big city, so that every voice is heard and elections in the state reflect the will of the voters,” Paul Smith, vice president for litigation and strategy at Campaign Legal Center, wrote in a statement Wednesday when the lawsuit was filed.

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The center filed the suit on behalf of Vote America, Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information, civic participation groups that all help register voters.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, which is named in the suit, did not respond to request for comment.

The 59-page suit is the fifth filed against the state in recent weeks, as a growing number of businesses and major corporations have also spoken out against the changes.

The latest suit argues the law violates the group’s free speech rights under the First Amendment. 

“SB 202 directly and severely burdens plaintiffs’ core political speech, which includes communications and expressive activities aimed at encouraging voters to participate in the political process through absentee voting,” lawyers wrote in the suit, using the law’s bill number.

The law also places “onerous restrictions on distributing absentee ballot applications that are coupled with the threat of substantial penalties to heavily burden plaintiffs’ political expression.”