Georgia’s new voting law was to take effect before the upcoming special elections in July, but a federal judge has put an injunction on the law. On Wednesday, a federal judge dismissed Georgia’s request to block certain aspects of their new voting legislation. It means that runoff elections in the state legislature will happen next week.
The US District Judge J. P. Boulee said they could not block the SB202 during the last weeks before this year’s special elections. The judge denied the bill provision that would apply in runoff elections because he claimed it created a big hurdle. Two Georgia House runoff elections are planned for July 13 after the bill was filed and approved less than a month ago.
The judge also halted a requirement that voters show identification before voting unless they were among a small group of people who did not need to show ID. The court said that it is unconstitutional to require absentee voters to show ID even though they are not required to vote in person at their polling station.
This ruling is significant because it shows how this law will affect the upcoming runoff elections. If the state does not appeal, then many voters will already have voted before being able to cast a ballot in person.
Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia law in May, and it took effect on June 21, would have closed all 53 of the state’s polling places and relocated voting to only ten sites. However, after concerned organizations filed a lawsuit, the federal judge ordered the parts of this law, which were to take effect before July, to be blocked.
These groups include civil rights organizations and voting rights groups that challenge the legislation and its implementation in federal court.
The decision was made possible because of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and other top state officials. The requirements would have reduced voter participation and disenfranchised many Georgia voters who are senior citizens or otherwise unable to get an ID card.
Georgia is a state that has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. The law would not allow people to vote without an ID. The federal court voided the part of this law and is now on hold indefinitely.
The Department of Justice has officially filed a lawsuit against Georgia over the new voting restrictions that they are instituting across the country. These restrictions are being put into place by GOP-controlled state and county governments to reduce voting access.
The decision to overturn this law had national consequences. Georgia will likely have to reverse its election procedures and allow voters who registered before the decision came to vote in elections.
However, this does not mean that the state can not tighten its registration and voting rules for future elections.
The Coalition for Good Governance filed an election law action to stop the implementation of Georgia’s new voting legislation. The voting law will have a significant effect on many voters. It violates the Voting Rights Act and the First Amendment.