WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Oct. 26, the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 927, a chapter of the largest union representing workers in the entertainment industry, filed a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s absentee ballot application deadline for presidential elections.
In Georgia, under Senate Bill 202, the latest a voter may apply for an absentee ballot is 11 days before the election. IATSE Local 927 argues that this deadline violates Section 202(d) the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which mandates that voters must be able to cast absentee ballots in presidential elections if they applied seven days before the election. Since Georgia’s absentee ballot application cutoff is before the cutoff mandated by the VRA, the plaintiffs ask the court to block Georgia’s deadline and order that Georgia comply with the VRA’s prescribed deadline.
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, often on short notice.” The lawsuit explains that members of the union are required to travel during the election, but will not know if they will need to vote absentee until right before election day. “By shortening the timeframe for requesting absentee ballots, Georgia’s new application deadline deprives IATSE’s members of full lawful access to absentee ballots and the rights conferred by the Voting Rights Act when voting for President and Vice President,” the complaint reads.