Democrats Slam Georgia Voter Law, Push Expansive Overhaul Bill
Washington Democrats are on the counterattack after GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a sweeping new law into place that further limits voter rights.
Democratic Party leaders made impassioned speeches denouncing the law as specifically targeting Black and Latino voters and aiming to suppress them. President Joe Biden called the law “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” adding that the measures are an attack on “good conscience” that denies the right to vote for “countless” Americans.
Congress is currently sitting on H.R. 1, an elections overhaul bill that would directly confront the Republicans’ restrictions. While it passed the House, the Senate is taking longer because Democrats have, so far, refused to entertain ending the filibuster — the so-called “nuclear option” parliamentary tool that can require at least 60 votes to advance Senate legislation. Instead, Senate Democrats are lawmaking at a snail’s pace, engaging in long debates, committee room conversations and forcing individual Senators to put their positions on record.
In the meantime, Republican-led state governments continue passing more voting restrictions day after day.
Away from The Hill, liberal group End Citizens United and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee -- former Attorney General Eric Holder’s anti-gerrymandering group -- are teaming up on a $30 million advertising campaign to sway swing votes. On top of that, former first lady Michelle Obama and the nonpartisan, celebrity “When We All Vote” organization, religious leaders and activists like Rev. Al Sharpton are also pushing for the measure.
(Via Yahoo! News): H.R. 1 is vast, and its Senate counterpart would confront the new Georgia law by expanding voting by mail and early voting, both popular during the pandemic. It would more broadly open ballot access by creating automatic voter registration nationwide, allowing former felons to vote and limiting the way states can remove registered voters from the rolls. It also addresses campaign financing and ethics laws.
“We’re not going back to Jim Crow 2.0," Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison said. "So we’ve got to do whatever we need to do to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
A lawsuit filed late Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta by three groups — New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise — challenged key provisions of the new Georgia law and said they violated the Voting Rights Act.
Gov. Kemp accused President Biden of attempting to “destroy the sanctity and security of the ballot box" by commenting on what he sees as a state issue.