The suit, filed by the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise Inc., claims the new law violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments, thanks to a “grab bag of voting restrictions” whose sole purpose is to create “undue burdens on the right to vote.”
“We are filing this lawsuit for one simple reason: SB 202 should be classified as a violation of voting rights,” Nsé Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project Action Fund, said in an emailed statement.
“It is a violation of our dignity and our power,” the statement continued. “Together with the Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, we are here to tell Republican lawmakers and the companies supporting them that enough is enough. We will not be your punching bag. We will not accept your relentless push to silence our voices. ”
Georgia Republicans, including Kemp, justified the bill by propping up the falsehood of widespread voter fraud in the state. Former President Donald Trump propagated that lie after the state voted Democrat in the 2020 presidential election, even as Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger repeatedly refuted it.
Thursday’s suit reiterates just how baseless the claim really is.
“Absentee voter fraud in Georgia ― the justification for these restrictive measures ― is virtually non-existent,” it reads. “According to the Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism, there have been only eight instances of voter fraud in Georgia since 2000 that resulted in a plea, consent order, or conviction ― a negligible rate of fraud in absentee voting totaling 0.00003%.”
Critics have labeled the bill “Jim Crow 2.0” for, among other things, imposing new identification requirements on those who vote by mail, thereby jeopardizing the voting rights of 200,000 Georgians who don’t have a driver’s license or state ID number; limiting the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots; banning mobile polling places; and banning third parties from distributing food or drink, including water, to voters waiting in line.