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Georgia GOP’s Voting Bill Enrages Democrats: ‘All You’re Missing Are Your White Hoods’

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A GOP-led voting bill in Georgia has provoked the ire of Democrats, who panned it as suppressing Black voters and regressing to Jim Crow laws.

Senate Bill 202, which passed with a party-line vote of 100-75 in Georgia’s House and 34-20 in the Senate, was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday.

The legislation imposes a number of restrictions, including limits on absentee ballots and early voting, as well as more stringent voter ID requirements. If the state takes issue with county election board officials, the bill allows the state election board to replace them.

SB 202 also decreased the timeframe of election runoffs and criminalized giving food and water to Georgians waiting in long lines to cast their votes.

Language in the 95-page bill appeared to reflect former President Donald Trump’s baseless campaign against election fraud. The legislation cites “a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems” during the 2018 and 2020 elections, “with many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter suppression and many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter fraud.”

Democratic lawmakers expressed outrage at the bill, which they say is a blatant suppression tactic targeting Black voters.

“Instead of adjusting their message, some Georgia politicians have decided to rewrite the rules with SB 202—a thinly-veiled attempt to suppress the vote,” tweeted Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA). “It’s Jim Crow in new clothes. We will not go back. And Congress must act to protect the sacred right to vote.”

Instead of adjusting their message, some Georgia politicians have decided to rewrite the rules with SB 202—a thinly-veiled attempt to suppress the vote. It’s Jim Crow in new clothes.

We will not go back. And Congress must act to protect the sacred right to vote.

— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@SenatorWarnock) March 26, 2021

Representative David Scott (D-GA) said: “SB 202 is a terrible bill that harks back to the years of Jim Crow, and it is truly unconscionable that in this day and age Georgia State Legislators would attempt to disenfranchise eligible voters.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the bill “despicable” and vowed to take action.

“Since 2012—the GA GOP has closed more than 200 polling places,” he tweeted. “Voters in mostly Black precincts now wait 8X LONGER to vote than voters in mostly white precincts. Now the GOP makes it a crime to give water to people standing in long lines THEY CREATED.”

Sharing a video of the arrest of Georgia State Representative Park Cannon outside Kemp’s office, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted: “The Republican who is sitting in Stacey Abrams’ chair just signed a despicable voter suppression bill into law to take Georgia back to Jim Crow.”

Warren urged the Senate to pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which seek to expand and protect voter rights. Both were passed by the House.

Also in response to Cannon’s arrest, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said: “If Georgia can get away with this blatant voter suppression and intimidation, other states will follow suit. We need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect the vote nationwide!”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) called the incident involving Cannon “un-American.”

“Republicans in Georgia are literally trying to rig the system behind closed doors and are arresting anyone who has the courage to stand up to them,” she tweeted.

Cannon—who was since released but charged with “willful obstruction of law enforcement officers by use of threats or violence” and “preventing or disrupting general assembly sessions or other meetings of members”—has called the bill a product of a “white supremacist system.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) reacted to the bill by stating: “All you’re missing are your white hoods. People who champion voter suppression don’t deserve to hold public office in our democracy. We’re going to make sure the Senate passes #ForThePeopleAct. You Jim Crow politicians should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted: “The action today in Georgia by Brian Kemp and others to reinstate Jim Crow era election procedures is the most naked attack on our democracy since the Klan killed Black Americans for voting and those who helped them.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said: “The Georgia voter suppression laws are anti-American, racist, and a betrayal of our Constitution. Kemp has committed not simply an unjust act but a deeply unpatriotic one.”

All you’re missing are your white hoods.

People who champion voter suppression don’t deserve to hold public office in our democracy.

We’re going to make sure the Senate passes #ForThePeopleAct.

You Jim Crow politicians should be ashamed of yourselves. https://t.co/JZgLeepNMq

— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 26, 2021

A protester stands outside the Georgia Capitol building on March 3, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia to oppose the HB 531 bill, which adds controversial voting restrictions on the state’s upcoming elections. Another much-criticized voting bill, SB 202, was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.
Megan Varner/Getty Images

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