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Democrats keep claiming Georgia voter ID law is racist, but courts strike them down

In latest salvo, Biden DOJ asked court to stop various portions of the Election Integrity Act from going into effect. A judge refused.

Published: October 15, 2023 11:17pm

Updated: October 16, 2023 4:21pm

A federal judge has upheld Georgia's Election Integrity Act, marking the second time in a year that a court affirmed the law in the face of Democratic allegations the state’s voter ID requirement is racist.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee, a Trump appointee for the Northern District of Georgia, last week rejected an effort by the U.S. Justice Department to stop portions of the state's Election Integrity Act, which Georgia passed in 2021, from being enforced. 

The Justice Department had asked the court to stop various portions of the Election Integrity Act from going into effect, including regulations on absentee ballot drop boxes, an ID requirement for absentee ballot applications and a ban on line warming, where voters are provided food and water as they wait to cast their ballots.

The Justice Department was joined by multiple plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Sixth District of the American Methodist Episcopal Church.

The judge said the Justice Department did not demonstrate it was likely to succeed on the claim that drop box regulations have "a disparate impact on black voters" nor that there is significant proof that "black voters wait in longer lines at a meaningfully higher rate than white voters."

"Today, the Court confirmed what we’ve been saying all along," Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said after the court's decision. "SB 202 strengthens election integrity while increasing the opportunity for Georgia voters to cast a ballot."

The courts also ruled in favor of the Election Integrity Act in 2022, when U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, an Obama appointee, ruled that laws regulating voter ID and citizenship are legal and constitutional. 

Following the favorable ruling, Georgia had high voter turnout in last year's midterms.

The plaintiffs vowed to continue fighting after Boulee's latest decision in favor of the law.

"Time after time, Black voters in Georgia have proven that they will not let barriers deter them from exercising their right to vote – and we will continue working to lift barriers so that all voters have access to the ballot and can make their voice heard," SPLC attorney Poy Winichakul said. 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority official Rhonda Briggins said that the Election Integrity Act "was enacted to harm Black voters and diminish our political power. That is why we will keep moving forward in the case, challenging these illegal provisions so that Black voters can freely and fairly participate in elections."

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