Lawsuit Filed To Thwart Voter Suppression In Georgia

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There are many underhanded and sneaky ways to suppress the black vote, and GOP legislators in a number of states, particularly those that flipped blue in 2020, are willing to use all of them to stay in power in 2022.

One of the ways is to “pack and crack” black voters, a tactic currently being used in Georgia, where Joe Biden not only won in a traditionally red state but Sen. Raphael Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff flipped two red senate seats blue, as well. “Packing” is when large groups of black voters are drawn into one voting district to reduce the power of their vote to one area. “Cracking” involves grouping black voters, a population with significant growth in the state in recent years, into district lines where the strength of their vote is diluted by large numbers of white voters. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, all black voters in Georgia, say both have occurred in the state.

Democracy Docket writes that:

‘The complaint highlights the growth of Georgia‚Äôs minority population, particularly Black voters, and argues that the Legislature should have created five additional state House districts and three additional state Senate districts in which Black voters could elect their candidate of choice. Instead, according to the complaint, the Legislature chose to pack and crack Black voters across multiple legislative districts to weaken their influence, continuing the state‚Äôs long pattern of racial discrimination.’

Both “packing” and “cracking” the vote are part of gerrymandering, a practice that red states across the country are accused of using in the redrawing of congressional maps ahead of the 2022 elections. Political analysts say that democracy itself is on the brink with the new districts, which weaken the strength of the black vote in a country where their political voices have for too long gone unrecognized.

The filed legal complaint says that:

‘In undertaking the latest round of redistricting following the 2020 decennial census, the Georgia General Assembly diluted the growing electoral strength of the state‚Äôs Black voters and other communities of color. Faced with Georgia‚Äôs changing demographics, the General Assembly has ensured that the growth of the state‚Äôs Black population will not translate to increased politicalinfluence in the Georgia State Senate and Georgia House of Representatives.’

With the rise in population of black voters in Georgia, elections like Ossoff’s, Warnock’s, and Biden’s were made possible in the long-red state. Should lawsuits like the one filed by black voters in Georgia prevail, future changes in representation will be possible, as wel.

‘The population growth during this period is entirely attributable to the increase in Georgia‚Äôs minority population. The 2020 census results indicate that Georgia‚Äôs Black population grew by over 15 percent and now comprises 33 percent of Georgia‚Äôs total population. Meanwhile, Georgia‚Äôs white population decreased by 4 percent over the past decade. In total, Georgia‚Äôs minority population now comprises just under 50 percent of the state‚Äôs total population.’