The New Georgia Elections Law: Backlash Continues

On Thursday, March 25, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law that increases voting restrictions and enacts major changes in the voting process. 

The law increases restrictions on absentee voting rules—from requiring that voters have additional methods of identification, to reducing the amount of time available for people to request mail in ballots. 

The law makes Republican state legislatures in charge of overseeing elections rather than the Secretary of State. The state legislatures are to appoint a nonpartisan individual to be the chair of the board. It also limits the number of drop boxes that each county can have and how long they will be open. Additionally, the law prohibits the distribution of food or drinks to people waiting in line to vote.

Many have called the law a method of voter suppression. President Joe Biden called the law “Jim Crow in the 21st century” in a statement from the White House. CNN reports that a lawsuit from the New Georgia Project, Rise Inc. and the Black Voters fund states that the restrictions will disproportionately impact districts with large numbers of Black voters. 

Last week the law generated more backlash, this time from corporations. Several major corporations made headlines as they publicly denounced it. These corporations include Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and most recently the Major League Baseball. The MLB announced their decision in a statement on April 2 that they are relocating the MLB All-Star Game, which was scheduled to occur in Atlanta this July. 

This Republican backed law comes not long after the state narrowly flipped from red to blue. Georgia was a key player in Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 Presidential election against former President Donald Trump.