The state of Georgia is about to face a federal lawsuit over some controversial voting restrictions the state has pushed into law this year.
Earlier today (June 25), the U.S. Justice Department announced that they’re suing Georgia for the Election Integrity Act, a law that makes it a crime for people to give food and water to voters outside polling stations. The law also gives the state legislature more control over voting administration while putting more restrictions on the use of absentee ballots.
The law, which was passed by Georgia’s state legislature—which is obviously led by Republicans—in March. People have speculated that it was passed in response to President Joe Biden winning Georgia during the 2020 Presidential Election last fall. The win ended the Democrats’ losing streak in the state, and it was driven in part by a lot of Black voters showing up at the polls.
This morning, Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke on the lawsuit. “Georgia experienced record voter turnout and participation rates in the 2020 election cycle,” he said. “This is cause for celebration.” He goes onto say that, instead, voters now face the Election Integrity Act, which is a provision that makes it harder to vote.
“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” he explained.
This lawsuit is just the latest denunciation of the bill. Joe Biden has called the law “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” When it was first signed into law, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey called it “wrong” and said that legislators should revise the law.
“This legislation is unacceptable. It’s a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity,” he said at the time.
Watch Merrick Garland announce the lawsuit below.