Judge refuses to block Georgia’s election integrity law

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Georgia’s new election integrity law will not be block, arguing the injunction request failed to show “imminent constitutional harm” and would disrupt upcoming elections.

“The Court is not persuaded by Plaintiffs’ argument for a bright line exception to Purcell because they have alleged First Amendment harm. Plaintiffs have not provided authority, nor is the Court aware of any, that would support this interpretation of the law,” U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee wrote in the ruling.

“Election administrators have prepared to implement the challenged rules, have implemented them at least to some extent and now would have to grapple with a different set of rules in the middle of the election.

The Battle Isn’t Over

“The risk of disrupting the administration of an ongoing election … outweigh the alleged harm to plaintiffs at this time,” he added.

Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, said her group will file more lawsuits challenging other provisions of the law, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We’re concerned about the voter confusion that will no doubt occur with these little-known rapid changes to the rules, including the required information on ballot applications and the short deadline for applications to be received in this last week before the election,” Marks said in the report.

The DOJ Challenge

The legal challenge is not the only concern facing the new Georgia bill. The Department of Justice has also launched a separate attack on the new legislation.

“This lawsuit filed is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote that all lawful votes are counted and that every voter has access to accurate information,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in June, according to CNN.

Civil Rights Division leader Kristen Clarke said in the CNN report that the Georgia law is aimed at Black and minority voters.
“These legislative actions occurred at a time when the Black population in Georgia continues to steadily increase and after a historic election that saw record voter turnout across the state, particularly for absentee voting, which Black voters are now more likely to use than White voters,” Clarke said.
“Our complaint challenges several provisions of SB 202 on the grounds that they were adopted with the intent to deny or a bridge, Black citizens, equal access to the political process,” she added.
The voting rights battle will continue, but Georgia’s law may stand. If so, Democrats will need a new strategy to deal with the 2022 midterm elections.
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