Georgia Republicans, and Governor Brian Kemp have just passed a blatantly racist law meant to suppress the votes of Black Georgians and other minorities—because of Republican losses in the 2020 Election.
At the beginning of Thursday, it was not clear Georgia’s House of Representatives would even take up an amended version of SB 202 that passed earlier this week in committee.
Last night, SB 202 is law.
At 12:51PM, the House had passed 100-75 a further amended SB 202 with Thursday’s amendments unavailable online. At 5:23PM, the Georgia Senate had taken up the new SB 202, debate it, and passed it 34-20. An official printed version of SB 202 was ready before final passage for Governor Brian Kemp to sign at a press conference he both scheduled and held Thursday night after spending the day announcing COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Georgia adults.
The passage of this racist voter suppression bill by Georgia Republicans is already facing backlash. The NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under Law are three prominent national groups that have already denounced the Georgia Republicans attacks on the voting rights of Black Georgians and other minority groups in Georgia.
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, released the following statement on the signing of SB202 and the arrest of Rep. Park Cannon:
“The recent underhanded attack on Georgian’s voting rights by Governor Brian Kemp is reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. This is nothing more than an attempt to suppress the voters and make it harder for Georgia’s most vulnerable communities.
“Further, state Rep. Park Cannon’s arrest and detainment for simply knocking on the Governor’s door is a gross misuse and abuse of power. Georgia’s highest elected official exploiting his authority to suppress a sitting representative and the voters places the state down a dangerous path.
“We will work with our Georgia unit and branches to end this blatant encroachment on the people’s voting rights.”
The following statement about the passage of SB 202 and its signing by Governor Kemp is from Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for the SPLC Action Fund:
“To prevent Georgia voters, community leaders, and the business community from being able to understand the full impacts of SB 202 – much less mount any kind of opposition – Georgia leaders within one afternoon sprinted through a codification of the dangerous and deadly Big Lie of 2020.
“Cowering to extremists and disseminators of disinformation about our elections has been the overall policy agenda of Georgia’s leaders this legislative session. Dozens of frivolous court cases in Georgia failed last year that this legislation is based on.
“Thousands of voters have made it clear that the types of provisions in SB 202 are unacceptable and will disproportionately harm historically disenfranchised communities, young voters, and voters with disabilities.
“The speed and magnitude of today’s shift in election policy in Georgia is unprecedented and unlike any other major policy shift in the state’s recent history.
“Georgia’s democracy and election administration were stressed in 2020, but today’s actions by the Legislature ensures 2020 was only the beginning. Voters deserve to easily access the ballot and to have the confidence that when they participate in the democratic process, their ballots will count.”
“With the passage of this bill today, Georgia state lawmakers have shown how far they will go to restrict the right to vote and prevent voters of color from reaching the ballot box, having their voices heard, and being able to participate in our democracy.
“This should be marked as Exhibit A in making the case that discriminatory voter suppression is alive and well, and makes clear why we need federal voting rights legislation to stop these laws in their tracks. We stand ready to take action and protect the fundamental right to vote through the courts.”