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Politics Georgia senators introduce counterproposal to state’s voting law

10:55  23 june  2021
10:55  23 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Georgia's U.S. senators introduced a measure Monday to curb the effects of the state's voting law.

a man and a woman standing in front of a statue © Provided by Washington Examiner

Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock — joined by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Merkley, Mark Warner, and three House members — presented the Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021 that would "ensure the integrity of local elections while also protecting the safety and security of election workers and volunteers, following the spate of state-level voter suppression attacks sweeping the nation that would make it harder for eligible voters to cast a ballot and ensure it is counted."

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"The dangers of the voter suppression efforts we’re seeing in Georgia and across the nation are not theoretical, and we can’t allow power-hungry state actors to squeeze the people out of their own democracy by overruling the decisions of local election officials," Warnock said in a press release. "This legislation is critical to ensuring the federal government has the tools to make sure every eligible voter’s voice is heard and their ballot is counted to help decide the direction of our country."

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Ossoff said he and Warnock "are focused on protecting every American's voting rights."

"This legislation will ensure nonpartisan election officials can carry out free and fair elections without partisan interference and help safeguard the sacred right to vote," he added.

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The bill would require a "for cause" standard to be met before suspending local election officials, allow local election officials subjected to removal proceedings to remove those proceedings to federal district courts, criminalize threatening or harassment of election workers, establish a buffer zone to limit how close poll workers can come within voters, and require challenges to voters' eligibility to be supported by "personal knowledge with respect to each individual challenged," the press release added.

The proposal is a direct response to Georgia's S.B. 202, which "effectively allow[s] partisan state actors to overrule the decisions of local election officials."

Georgia's voter reforms, signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, impose voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, give state officials the authority to make changes to county elections boards, authorize the use of ballot drop boxes, and make it a crime for politically affiliated people to approach voters who are within 150 feet of a polling place to give them food and water.

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Republicans have touted the legislation as a crucial step toward shoring up election integrity, but critics on the Left argue the law amounts to voter suppression for minorities. Several Georgia-based corporations, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, have issued statements critical of the law.

Others have taken steps to boycott the state, moving business out of the region. Major League Baseball relocated its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, Colorado, in protest of the law, and actor Will Smith announced he was pulling production of his movie Emancipation out of the state due to the "regressive" law.

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Though traditionally a Republican state, Georgia has been the site of some major victories for Democrats in recent months.

Warnock ousted incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, during a 2020 special election, and Ossoff defeated Republican incumbent David Perdue in the state's other Senate contest. President Joe Biden won Georgia's 16 electoral votes, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since former President Bill Clinton in 1992.

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Tags: News, Georgia, Georgia Senate, Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, Voter ID Laws

Original Author: Carly Roman

Original Location: Georgia senators introduce counterproposal to state’s voting law

The Department of Justice is suing Georgia over its GOP-backed election law, alleging it discriminates against Black voters .
This lawsuit over Georgia's Senate Bill 202 is the DOJ's first major voting rights enforcement case under President Joe Biden."Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia's election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color," Garland said.

usr: 1
This is interesting!