Photos: Stacey Abrams\YouTube
The fallout from the blatantly racist passage of a voter suppression bill by Georgia Republicans, on Thursday, (which was signed into law by Black vote purger Brian Kemp, who suppressed votes to “beat” Stacey Abrams) is continuing to receive widespread condemnation.
Two voting rights groups, Black Voters Matter and the New Georgia Project filed lawsuits immediately after the signing of the voter suppression law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. More lawsuits are planned for the coming days.
“We are filing this lawsuit for one simple reason: SB 202 should be classified as a violation of voting rights. It is a violation of our dignity and our power,” Nse Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project, said in a statement. “Georgia’s Black, Brown, young, and new voters are here to stay. We will organize, knock on doors, and show up to the polls ten times over. And we will fight for solutions and progress for all Georgia voters.”
President Joe Biden denounced the bill saying, “It’s an atrocity…designed to keep people from voting.” The president cited one provision–which makes giving water to someone in a voting line a crime saying, “You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive. You can’t provide water for people about to vote. Give me a break.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a tweet, “We saw it in Georgia last night. We see it across the country. A concerted, nationwide and racist effort by Republican state legislatures to limit the right of American citizens to vote. The #ForThePeople Act is a priority of this Congress to fight this and renew Democracy.”
U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after Governor Kemp signed this sweeping voter suppression bill into law:
“American democracy is premised on the notion that every adult citizen ought to have an equal say in choosing those who lead us. Georgia Republicans, like their counterparts in many other states, have come to the determination that democracy is electorally inconvenient, and their response has been legislation to curb ballot access and deny citizens their ability to vote and have their voices heard.
“The bill signed by Gov. Kemp this evening is part of a national strategy by Republicans to prevent minorities from voting, a blatant embrace of the Jim Crow-era voter suppression that made our democracy so imperfect for so long and against which Rep. John Lewis, the greatest legislator to represent Georgia in the halls of Congress, spent his life courageously fighting.
“This is exactly why the voting rights protections included in H.R. 1, the For The People Act, are so critical. I was proud to bring that legislation to the Floor and work to pass it in the House earlier this month, and the Senate began to advance its own counterpart legislation this week. H.R. 1 would enact automatic voter registration, expand early and weekend voting opportunities, and create a national voter protection hotline, among other provisions meant to protect Americans’ right to vote.
“Last Congress, House Democrats passed legislation to update, reinvigorate, and extend the reach of Sections 4 and 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court effectively nullified in 2013. The House will pass that legislation again, hoping that this time the Senate will do the right thing and pass it as well. The consequence of this terrible decision has been to allow discriminatory and undemocratic state election laws, like the one Gov. Kemp signed, to go into effect unchecked. If we cannot protect the right to vote and the equal access of every eligible voter to the ballot box, American democracy will not work and will not be able to deliver government by, of, and for the people.”
Georgia Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement:
“I am deeply disturbed by the voter suppression legislation that became law in Georgia yesterday. It should not be difficult to exercise your most basic right and civic duty—to vote. This is the most blatant and pervasive attempt at disenfranchising voters since the days of Jim Crow prior to enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Clearly, this is an attempt to turn back the clock and return to a sordid time in our nation’s history when voting and participation in our government was denied for large sectors of our population. As John Lewis would say, ‘it is not right, it is not fair, and it is not just.’ This law undermines our democracy.”
United States Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) released the following statement after Governor Kemp signed SB 202 , a bill that significantly curtails voting rights, into law:
“This is a dark day for Georgia,” said Congresswoman Bourdeaux. “SB 202 is, quite simply, a bad piece of partisan legislation, designed to make it harder for Georgians to vote. It was Republicans who, in 2005, implemented no-excuse absentee voting in our state. Now, after a year where we saw record-breaking turnout, they’re trying to change the rules, simply because they lost an election. It’s wrong, and yet another reason why we need to pass the For The People Act immediately.”
U.S Congressman David Scott issued the following statement:
“SB 202 is a terrible bill that harks back to the years of Jim Crow, and it is truly unconscionable that in this day and age Georgia State Legislators would attempt to disenfranchise eligible voters.”
“We are deeply troubled by several provisions within Senate Bill 202. From the inefficient and burdensome use of identification requirements on absentee ballots and applications, to a so-called “voter fraud” hotline that will lead to intimidation, the criminalization of NAACP volunteers who want to give food and water to voters waiting in long lines, and —last but certainly not least— to allowing local Boards of Elections to be taken over by GOP legislators, this dangerous legislation does nothing to improve voter confidence in the election process nor ensures election integrity.
“It’s also important to note that Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan had a chance to honor the process by acknowledging this legislation violates Senate rules and Georgia code by not having a fiscal note. He also could have sent this bill to conference committee to at least respect the integrity of the legislative processes but failed to do so after promising “fairness and balance.”
“The Georgia NAACP will use every legal option available to protect the right of all Georgians to vote. Despite this set back, we are motivated now more than ever. We are not defeated – we’re just getting started.”