WASHINGTON, DC (CW69 News at 10/CNN) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against Georgia over new voting restrictions at a news conference Friday morning.
The state law passed in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s election defeat imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.
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Republicans had cast the measure as necessary to boost confidence in elections after the 2020 election and Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated claims of fraud, but Democrats in the state have called the new law voter suppression and likened it to Jim Crow-era voting laws.
Shortly after it was passed in March, the law had already been challenged in court by a trio of voting rights groups: the New Georgia Project, the Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise Inc. The lawsuit said the new law “disproportionately impacts Black voters, and interacts with these vestiges of discrimination in Georgia to deny Black voters (an) equal opportunity to participate in the political process and/or elect a candidate of their choice.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger issued the following statement:
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The Biden Administration continues to do the bidding of Stacey Abrams and spreads more lies about Georgia’s election law. Their lies already cost Georgia $100 million and got the President awarded with four Pinocchios. It is no surprise that they would operationalize their lies with the full force of the federal government. I look forward to meeting them, and beating them, in court.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will be holding a press conference at 4 p.m. today in response to the lawsuit. He also issued a statement:
This lawsuit is born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act from the start,” said Governor Kemp. “Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, and their allies tried to force an unconstitutional elections power grab through Congress – and failed. Now, they are weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy. As Secretary of State, I fought the Obama Justice Department twice to protect the security of our elections – and won. I look forward to going three for three to ensure it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in Georgia.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
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©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to the story.
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