Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia over its new voting law that could significantly restrict ballot access for its citizens.

“Today, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia,” Garland said. “Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Georgia’s Senate Bill 202, 98-page instructions that impose restrictions heavily on absentee votings, was signed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Georgia) in March.

The new law includes prohibiting giving out food or drink within 150 feet of the polling stations.


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Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division claimed that this legislation would especially discourage minorities from voting.

“Historically, minority voters in Georgia have been disproportionately more likely to wait in long lines to vote in person on Election Day,” Clarke said. “Given those long and protracted wait times, civic groups, including churches, have at times provided food and water to voters in line to make their wait more comfortable. As we allege in our complaint, this needless ban was passed with unlawful discriminatory intent.”

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