NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE AND URBAN LEAGUE OF GREATER ATLANTA APPLAUD DOJ LAWSUIT AGAINST GEORGIA’S SUPPRESSIVE ELECTION LAWS
Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, and Nancy Flake Johnson, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, issued the following statement in response to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement of a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s election laws:
“The National Urban League, Urban League of Greater Atlanta, and the Urban League Movement vigorously support the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to sue Georgia over its suppressive election laws, which clearly violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
“On the eighth anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision, voting rights continue to be under assault. Georgia’s new law includes multiple assaults on Black Georgians’ voting rights, including restrictive voter ID laws, limited voting hours, reducing drop boxes and mobile voting centers, limiting mailed absentee ballot applications, promoting long lines, and even criminalizing the sharing of water with voters in line.
“The most egregious of the measures in the law is one that allows the party in power to politicize the voting process by removing local elections officials of the opposing party. In fact, the removal of local election officials is already happening in Georgia, where some long-time African American and minority party elections officials are being pushed out of their positions. This could set up a situation where the party in power could overturn election results that they simply do not like.
“As appalling as it is, Georgia’s bill is merely the first step in a clear and rapid march toward diminished voting rights and narrowed voter access nationally. Hundreds of bills across the country that were hastily and hazardously introduced are a crusade against fair and free elections – a crusade that promises to trample procedures that produced historic voter turnout amid the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also are concerned that the redistricting process will be politicized to limit the voting power of people of color and those with low or moderate incomes.
“We appreciate the Department’s commitment to monitoring potential violations of civil rights and taking action when there is a clear violation of our federal voting rights laws and constitutionally affirmed civil rights. We look forward to the ultimate decision in U.S. v. Georgia and the Department’s continuing defense of America’s democracy that is built on free and fair elections.”