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Voting groups file lawsuit against election board over Ga. voting changes

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Once again, all eyes are on Georgia. But this time it’s not because of an election race, it’s because of Senate bill 202.

“It’s clearly a sweeping bill. There are a lot of important changes in it it’s clearly going to make it harder to vote,” Dr. Gregg Murray, a political science professor at AU, said.

What is Georgia’s new voting law all about? We take a closer look as the debate rages on.

But the bill already faces legal challenges.

While some leaders are calling the bill ‘Jim Crow 2.0’, Murray says simply put - the bill is a battle over power.

“I think quite frankly ...This is about one party trying to get an advantage over the other party,” he explained.

Coming after historical election turnouts flooded by claims of voter fraud, Republican leaders say the bill aims to improve voter security.

Critics say it comes with more barriers too.

“It’s certain that this new law is going to be challenged,” Murray said.

And the challenges came swiftly.

Just hours after Governor Brian Kemp sign the bill into law, New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, and RISE filed a lawsuit against state election leaders. They’re claiming the bill violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 14th amendment, both of which protect against discrimination.

“Everything that was used to increase voter participation in the wake of this pandemic and encourage folks to make their voices heard in our democracy, is a target of this bill,” Chairman Francys Johnson with the New Georgia Project said.

The 35-page lawsuit lists the aspects of the bill they say add unnecessary burdens for voters.

“People gave their lives. People gave way too much for us to allow the retrogression that is in the midst of this law,” Johnson said.

As for Dr. Murray, he can’t say if the bill breaks the law, but he knows we haven’t heard the end of it.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if it ends up in the supreme court,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the Georgia State Election Board.

No election officials have responded to the lawsuit just yet. But today, Governor Kemp defended the bill once again by saying it ensures election integrity.

MORE VOTING LAW COVERAGE

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