The United States Department of Justice announced on Friday that it is suing the state of Georgia over its recently-passed voter suppression law.
USA Today reports:
The Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia in an effort to overturn a sweeping state law that federal officials claim restricts Black voters’ access to the polls.
“The rights of all citizens to vote are the central pillars of our democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday, adding that recent changes to Georgia law amounted to voter suppression.
“This lawsuit is the first step of many we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote; that all lawful votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information.”
The government alleges that the state law was passed with “discriminatory purpose … that departed from normal practice and procedure.”
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, chief of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said Friday the state acted with the “intent” to deny Black voters’ access.
As we reported back in March, Georgia’s voter suppression law makes it illegal to give water to voters who are waiting in line. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The law also limits the use of convenient and secure ballot drop boxes, shortens the window to request a mail-in ballot, and restricts in-person early voting hours.
The Department of Justice’s lawsuit is an important step to ensure that voting rights are upheld. We encourage the DOJ to pursue lawsuits in other states – including critically important swing states like Arizona and Florida – where voter suppression has become the primary strategy for Republicans to retain power.