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Justice Department is suing Georgia over voting restrictions. Here’s why

Justice Department has decided to sue Georgia over new voting restrictions that will limit voting access

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department in Washington.
In this June 15, 2021, file photo, Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department in Washington.
Win McNamee, Associated Press

The Justice Department will sue the state of Georgia over its new voting restrictions.

Georgia’s state law includes new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots and allows for state officials a chance to take over any and all local election boards. On top of that, the new bill limits the use of ballot drop boxes, according to CNN.

  • The bill also “makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water,” according to CNN.
  • The restrictions came “as part of Republican efforts nationwide to limit voting access in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election defeat,” according to CNN.

The Justice Department will sue Georgia over the law. The department alleges the bill discriminates against Black Americans, The Washington Post reports.

  • “Democratic groups and politicians in the state objected to the changes, arguing they were simply an attempt by Republicans to limit Democratic votes in a state that has become a political battleground,” per The Wall Street Journal.

The move by the Justice Department is the first voting rights lawsuit it has filed while under the Biden administration, according to The Washington Post. This is the first time the Biden administration has looked “to use the levers of government to try to block restrictive state laws,” according to CNN.

  • “This lawsuit filed is the first of many steps 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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday, according to CNN.

Republicans in the Georgia House and Senate passed the bill back in April. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp then signed it into law.

  • “Significant reforms to our state elections were needed. There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled, and those problems, understandably, led to a crisis of confidence in the ballot box here in Georgia,” said Kemp after he signed the bill, according to the Journal-Constitution.

We broke down what the Georgia voting laws do for Georgia voters. Read more about that at the Deseret News.