Voter Suppression

Georgia Suppression Law Immediately Challenged in Court

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Joe Biden was the first Democrat to win the state of Georgia since 1992 and that was followed by a pair of victories by Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Republicans suffered these historical defeats because their candidates were historically bad. Donald Trump waged his own war against the state's Republican party, David Perdue was cartoonishly corrupt, and Kelly Loeffler made Cruella de Vil look honest and wholesome.

But the GOP's solution to winning future elections isn't to nominate better candidates or present better policy solutions for the problems we face. Their solution is to suppress votes and further entrench white supremacy.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a sweeping voter suppression bill into law yesterday and civil rights groups filed a challenge today.

Among other limits, the law imposed stricter identification requirements, limited drop boxes, gave lawmakers the power to take over local elections and shortened the early voting period for all runoff elections. It also makes it a misdemeanor for people to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.

The complaint was filed in Atlanta federal court just hours after the legislation became law on Thursday by the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, Inc. Marc Elias, a Democratic lawyer who spearheaded the party’s election legal efforts last year, is representing the groups.

“These provisions lack any justification for their burdensome and discriminatory effects on voting,” the lawsuit said.

Making it illegal to give people food and water is just unnecessarily cruel, isn't it? It's inhumane. It's cartoonish.

Governor Kemp himself voted in the state's recent elections using a no-excuse absentee ballot just as many other Georgians did, but that would actually be illegal under the new law Kemp signed.

If a few white people like himself are disenfranchised, Kemp and the Republican party consider that acceptable collateral damage in their war against black and other minority voters who will be suppressed at much higher rates. Whittling away at representative democracy is the GOP's first and only strategy for winning elections. That has been the case for as long as I can remember at this point and it may be their only chance to win in 2022 and 2024.

Congressional Democrats are weighing whether they should eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass a sweeping voting rights law and I believe they should. Everyone knows voter suppression is the GOP's only ace up their sleeves. Democrats know it and Republicans know it.

I've seen some people say that Democrats shouldn't bother because the Supreme Court will just strike down any law they pass, but I disagree. The legal path between passing the law and striking it down in court is a very long one and it's possible that most if not all of any such law would survive.

Kemp signed the voter suppression law while surrounded by old white men (pictured above) with exactly no self-awareness among them.