Republicans Challenge Voting Rights Act in Georgia Absentee Ballot Deadline Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, the Republican National Committee and the Georgia Republican Party filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s absentee ballot application deadline arguing that the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. 

Republicans are trying to get involved in a new lawsuit brought by the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees Local 927 against members of the Georgia State Election Board and members of the Fulton County Registration and Elections Board challenging Georgia’s absentee ballot application deadline for presidential elections. 

The lawsuit argues that under the Section 202(d) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), voters must be able to cast absentee ballots in presidential elections if they applied seven days before the election. In Georgia, under Senate Bill 202, a voter must apply for an absentee ballot eleven day before the election — before the deadline mandated by the VRA. The plaintiff alleges that Georgia’s absentee ballot application cutoff for presidential elections violates the Voting Rights Act as it is shorter than the time mandated by the VRA and requests that the court block its enforcement. The theater workers argue that Georgia’s absentee ballot application deadline is burdensome because their work requires them to frequently travel around and outside of Georgia and sometimes on short notice. 

Now, Republicans are arguing that the Voting Rights Act is not constitutional. “And under current precedent, the seven-day deadline does not pass constitutional muster. Neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Electors Clause nor any other constitutional provision gives Congress authority to enact the national seven-day application deadline. The federal law is unconstitutional,” the motion to intervene reads. 

This action is simply the latest in a string of actions by Republicans to undermine the Voting Rights Act and attempt to strike what is left of the crucial legislation down. Litigation in this case is ongoing. 

Read the motion to intervene here. 

Read more about the case here.