WASHINGTON, D.C. — The New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and RISE, Inc. have filed an amended complaint in the lawsuit they brought against Georgia’s Senate Bill 202 in late March. The amended complaint adds a group of individual voters as plaintiffs, as well as adding a series of Board of Elections officials from Spalding, Brooks, Fulton and Dougherty Counties as defendants.
The amended complaint challenges an additional provision of S.B. 202: the change in the absentee ballot return date, which Republicans moved up by 20 days. It also argues that some of bill’s provisions are designed to target voters on the basis of their political viewpoints, that enforcing the food and water ban criminalizes speech protected by the First Amendment and that the requirement that absentee ballots that don’t display the voter’s birthday must be rejected is a violation of the Civil Right Act.
This lawsuit was the first of seven that were filed against Georgia since the passage of S.B. 202. Each suit alleges that the voter suppression bill’s provisions violate the First, 14th or 15nth Amendments or Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Some of the challenged provisions include new identification requirements for absentee voting, limits on the use of absentee drop boxes, invalidating ballots cast in the wrong precinct and banning any non-poll worker from giving food or drink to voters waiting in line.