What’s next for lawsuit over Georgia election law?

Georgia is facing a lawsuit from the United States Department of Justice over the state’s new voting law
With the Biden administration officially challenging Georgia's new voting law, we look at what’s ahead in the battle.
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 12:03 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia is facing a lawsuit from the United States Department of Justice over the state’s new voting law that was passed earlier this year.

The Justice Department filed the lawsuit on Friday. They allege that the voting law is discriminatory to minority voters.

“Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act,” said United States Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The law shortens the amount of time to request an absentee ballot, reduces the number of drop boxes and makes it illegal for campaign groups to give out food or water at a polling place.

“I think the case is great,” said Sen. Harold Jones. “The issue is, the fact that it’s difficult to prove these kind of cases, because you have to show intentional discrimination.

Jones says the Justice Department will have to prove its claim that the law is discriminatory.

“That’s what they’ll have to show, they’ll have to show racial intent in actually drafting the law,” said Jones.

“Racial intent to suppress and prevent voting is a crime in the United States,” said Bell & Brigham attorney John Bell. “It’s unconstitutional.”

Bell believes the Justice Department has a strong case.

“This lawsuit that’s filed by the Department of Justice is gonna get very prompt attention,” said Bell. “For that reason, it is the one more likely to be the lead case.”

The law faces multiple legal challenges. Bell and Jones both believe that all the lawsuits could be brought before the same judge.

“They’ll consolidate them together so one judge basically can handle it, so you won’t have different outcomes in different cases, because eventually they’re all gonna have to go to the court of appeals, they’ll all go to the Supreme Court if it goes that far,” said Jones.

We reached out to Max Burns, who is one of the bill’s sponsors, and a Republican state senator. He declined to comment because he doesn’t want to speak about pending litigation.

We also spoke with Richmond County GOP Chairman Sherry Barnes. She believes the law gives adequate time for everyone to vote.

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