As Georgia Republicans are discovering this week, their draconian voter suppression law is deeply unpopular, and it will likely backfire with disastrous results.
A Republican lawyer has already admitted in front of the Supreme Court that his party cannot win elections without voter suppression laws. Republicans in states across the country have introduced over 200 voter suppression laws since disgraced former President Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election in November, a race that also saw Arizona and Georgia flip to Democrats.
Well, Georgia Republicans decided to jam a voter suppression law through the state legislature that they claim is meant to boost the “integrity” of elections. But that’s simply a big lie because there is absolutely zero evidence of fraud in the 2020 Election unless you count fraud committed by Republicans themselves on Trump’s behalf.
According to CNN:
The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.
Republicans are literally rigging elections to guarantee that they stay in power, but their scheme is going to backfire, as attorney Teri Kanefield pointed out in an NBC column.
“The provisions that make it harder for people to vote and the nonsensical provisions can be overridden by federal legislation,” Kanefield wrote. “The Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to regulate federal elections: Article I, Section 4 gives it the power to make or alter rules for conducting federal elections. The 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment prevent states from discriminating based on race,” she wrote. “Because so many of these restrictive provisions disproportionally affect minority voters, lawsuits are already being filed challenging the law.”
Indeed, Republicans slashed the number of polling places in Black communities, resulting in longer lines that takes hours upon hours to get through to vote. Now people waiting that long in line can’t be given access to food and water as they wait to do their civic duty. It’s inhumane.
Senate Democrats already have the For The People Act in line for a vote, which would reverse many of the voter suppression laws we’ve seen Republicans pass over the years, including the recent one in Georgia. Perhaps Democrats will be outraged enough by the new law that they will kill the filibuster so they can pass their popular voting rights legislation.
Furthermore, Kanefield noted that lawsuits are already being filed against the Georgia law and the Justice Department will challenge it as well. It’s clearly unconstitutional, but the right-wing 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court will likely keep the law in place, thus once again underscoring the need to expand the court and add more judges to the bench so that their majority becomes the minority and true justice can prevail.
In addition, big corporations that stood on the sidelines are about to feel economic retaliation, which could pressure them to push for repeal and end donations to Republicans.
And finally, Kanefield explained that the new law will likely motivate voters to punish Republicans in 2022 and beyond.
“As we saw in the April primaries, when Republicans in Wisconsin tried to make it harder for people to vote, people don’t like it when they feel their voices are being suppressed,” Kanefield wrote. “The Wisconsin Republicans faced a backlash from voters, who turned up in massive numbers, viewing the hurdles erected by Republicans as a challenge. As a result, Democrats scored an important win when challenger Jill Karofsky ousted conservative incumbent Daniel Kelly from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Georgia already has a well-organized voter support team, Fair Fight, headed by Stacey Abrams.”
Abrams built a voter support team that flipped Georgia blue. President Biden won the state by 11,000 votes and Democrats took both Senate seats. Abrams and her organization efforts can certainly get out the vote again. Wisconsin voters were so pissed off at Republicans for passing a voter suppression law that they stood in line despite a raging pandemic, literally risking death to vote just to oust a Republican judge.
Kemp is up for re-election in 2022, as are several legislators. And all of them should be punished for perpetrating this egregious attack on voting rights.
Featured Image: Screenshot