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Political expert weighs in on DOJ lawsuit over Georgia Senate Bill 202

Some people feel like, Senate Bill 202, or the Elections Integrity act is blatant voter suppression. Others think it’s fair and protects Georgia Elections.
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:27 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -The battle over voting rights in Georgia is underway. The Department of Justice is suing the Peach State for a bill they say is trying to keep black people from voting.

Some people feel like, Senate Bill 202, or the Elections Integrity Act is blatant voter suppression, while others think it’s fair and protects Georgia Elections.

According to a political professor at Columbus Technical College, Kathleen Adams, the bill changes a few things for Peach State Voters. One that seems to be a talker, is it being furthermore illegal for political activist or groups to hand out food and water at the polls, or limiting the number of ballot drop off boxes in Georgia Counties.

“The DOJ is specifically accusing Georgia of violating the voting rights act, so it’ll be up to our federal court system sort of to ascertain whether or not they made a valid enough case.”, said Adams. “So the bill also limits the number of drop boxes that can now be across the state. You can only have one for every hundred thousand people.”

“I think that the republicans’ answer to all this, is overwhelm them with voter turnout.”, said Alton Russell, Chairman of the Muscogee County Republican Party. “All this does, is put a little more teeth in that and says if you’re a political activist and trying to influence people while they’re in line to vote, well then you can’t do that.”

According to Adams, it’s required by law to have a law enforcement officer or poll worker keep a close eye on the drop boxes. She told News Leader 9, the absentee drop boxes were something put in place to protect voters during the COVID-19 pandemic, and actually increased voter turn out. According to the Columbus Tech professor, it also gives the state power over county election boards and requires a photocopy of a Georgia ID for absentee ballots.

“To the republican party, if the democratic party, would’ve done something like that, they would do the same thing, so it’s nothing but a lot of rhetoric on their part.”, said Tonza Thomas, chairwoman of the Muscogee County Democratic Party. “And also the length of time. They were restricted to being inside and locked up when doors were closed, where as prior to, they were open and accessible to working families.”

Public response to the Elections Integrity Act of 2021 has been mixed around Muscogee County.

A Columbus citizen, Jim Reeter, said, “From what I know about them, it sounds fair.”

Another citizen, Betty Slaughter, was in favor of the lawsuit from the DOJ. She told News Leader 9, “I hope the DOJ wins. I hope it doesn’t go into effect.”

Mike Healy said, “I’d hate for someone from South Carolina to come down here and vote in the Georgia elections. There are people who do that.”, while on the other hand, Margo Easterbrook, “I’m very unhappy that they’re making it harder for people to vote.”

Senate Bill 202, is set to go into effect across Georgia on Thursday. Professor Kathleen Adams told News Leader 9 it’ll be up to the federal court system to see if the Department of Justice has a case.

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