Letitia James Teams Up With Georgia To Protect Voting Rights

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New York state Attorney General Letitia James (D) has announced that she is helping lead a coalition of state attorney generals in support of a recent lawsuit from the Justice Department targeting a suppressive new elections law in Georgia. That law responds to no actual, documented, systematic problem of election integrity — since such a problem does not exist in the United States — but the legislation’s provisions do make voting more difficult. For instance, the bill includes punitive new limits on the numbers of drop boxes for mail-in ballots that are allowed to be in place in each county, and lower numbers of drop boxes would entail less access to the electoral process for certain voters.

Specifically, the law “says that each county can’t have more than one drop box per early voting site or per 100,000 active registered voters, whichever number is smaller,” an NBC affiliate explains, and under these new rules, Fulton County — which includes Atlanta — could end up with just eight drop boxes, compared to the 38 that it had last year. The suppressive provisions go on from there, and now, the coalition with James helping lead the way has lodged a filing “urging the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to allow the case to move forward,” as a press release from James’s office says. On Twitter, James commented as follows:

‘Georgia’s recent voting law serves but one purpose — to continue generations of oppressive actions that disenfranchise the votes and voices of Black people. [D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine] and I are leading a group of AGs to support [The Justice Department’s] lawsuit to overturn this discriminatory law.’

The argument against Georgia’s law that James presented mirrors the arguments of the federal lawsuit itself. That lawsuit insists that Georgia officials put the controversial law in place “with knowledge of the disproportionate effect that numerous provisions, both singly and together, would have on Black voters’ ability to participate in the political process on an equal basis with white voters.” Separately, Democrats in Congress are continuing to push for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would re-institute a previous requirement for federal authorities to approve certain changes to the conducting of elections before their implementation. The hope would be to thwart voter suppression before at least some instances of it can even begin. When that provision was previously in place, the Justice Department was able to stop “thousands” of suppressive moves in localities around the nation, Attorney General Merrick Garland has pointedly explained.