The ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Southern Poverty Law Center are suing Georgia over its new voting law

Georgia voting
Demonstrators stand outside of the Georgia Capitol building on March 3, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Megan Varner/Getty Images
  • A slew of civil rights groups, including the ACLU, filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia’s new voting law.
  • This latest legal action is the third federal lawsuit filed over the bill in the past week.
  • The bill, SB 202, makes sweeping changes to Georgia’s election and voting system.
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Civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit against Georgia over its new voting law, the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund announced on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was brought against the state’s governor and numerous county election offices by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and law firms WilmerHale, and Davis Wright Tremaine.

This latest legal action is the now third federal lawsuit filed in court since Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill, SB 202 or the Election Integrity Act of 2021, into law last week.

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Other civil rights groups, including the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, Common Cause, and the Georgia NAACP, have filed similar federal lawsuits against the Georgia law in the past week.

The latest lawsuit, like the other two, challenges some provisions of law under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.

Section 2 of the VRA prohibits states from enacting election policies or redistricting schemes that cause “the denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group,” regardless of whether the law or policy was enacted with discriminatory intent.

The nearly 100-page legislation, which passed through the Georgia General Assembly along party lines, brings big changes to several aspects of the election process, impacting voters, election officials, and campaigns alike. Civil rights groups have argued it suppresses voters, particularly Georgia’s Black voters.

Specifically, the latest lawsuit from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and ACLU charges that many of the law’s provisions “deny voters of color a full and equal opportunity to participate in the political process” in violation of federal law.

The provisions in question include new rules requiring voters to provide identification information to vote absentee and shortening the window to request an absentee ballot, banning most uses of mobile voting buses, setting limits on the availability of ballot drop boxes, prohibiting most out-of-precinct provisional ballots from being counted, and, most controversially, banning volunteers from delivering food and drinks to voters in line to vote.

President Joe Biden has called SB 202 a “blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience,” and even likened it to “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”