Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) uploaded a picture of himself signing S.B. 202 into law under a painting of a slave plantation, Thursday. The bill will restrict voting access in the state under the guise of making elections more secure.
The bill will shorten runoff elections from nine weeks to less than a month as well as reduce the early voting period required for runoff elections from three weeks to one week. Additionally, mail-in voters will be required to include their driver’s license numbers or other documentation to verify their identities, instead of using signature verification. Also, people will be prohibited from offering food and water to Georgians waiting in voting lines, which can last over 10 hours in some districts.
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Georgians elected two Democrats in two runoff elections in 2021 including Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Warnock made history as the first black senator from Georgia.
Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon was arrested by Georgia State Patrol troopers for attempting to sit in on the bill signing at the Capitol. In a viral video, she can be seen being detained by officers after knocking on the door of the room. She is facing charges of obstructing law enforcement officers and disrupting general assembly sessions or other meetings of members.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Will Bunch described the bill as the “new, new Jim Crow.”
“The irony of Kemp signing this bill — that makes it illegal to give water to voters waiting on the sometimes 10-hour lines that state policies create in mostly Black precincts — under the image of a brutal slave plantation is almost too much to bear,” wrote Bunch.
The Senate will determine a date to vote on H.R. 1, a sweeping bill to expand voting rights, limit gerrymandering, change campaign finance laws, and more, in the coming weeks.