If Gov. Brian Kemp and his fellow Republicans in Georgia wanted to send a positive message about that state’s new voting law, they wouldn’t be happy with the widely publicized picture it passed on March 25.
This photo was taken by Video And in pictures, it was a photo of a black lawmaker, Park Cannon, pulled out of the Capitol in handcuffs by a group of white males much larger than Georgia.
On that day, Republican lawmakers and Governor Kemp rushed to enforce a heavily restricted voting law, angering Democrats and voting rights advocates. Representative Cannon, a Democrat from Atlanta, represents 58 statesThe tenth Legislative district, is one of them.
After the bill was passed, Kemp chose to sign the bill via a live event in his office, and the door closed. A video clip shows Canon approaching the door, knocking on it, and asking for permission to enter. Georgia state soldiers shut down and told her to stop. When she did not, she was handcuffed, taken from the Capitol, and charged with obstructing law enforcement, as well as “preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other member meetings.” Later that evening, she was released from prison with $ 6,000. bond.
The latest Jim Crow chapter?
Georgia, of course, is a southern state, and it has a less than impressive legacy of Jim Crow laws designed to enforce apartheid. So he paid Canon’s expulsion from the Capitol Critical comparisons To a dark period in Georgia’s history. Critics suggest the new law is to re-enact Jim Crow, the latest effort to prevent ethnic minorities from gaining power.
Kemp and supporters of the bill say the new law is not of that nature. They describe it as an attempt to restore “confidence” and “justice” in the state’s voting laws after the 2020 general election. They assert that the massively expanded use of absentee voting and other measures called for by the pandemic has resulted in a lack of public confidence.
Critics say there is no evidence to support claims that things are wrong, and that Republican lawmakers in Georgia want to restrict voting because that’s how Republicans might cling to power.
Immediate legal challenge
Opponents of the new law did not take long to file a lawsuit. On the evening of the law’s passage, three groups – the New Georgia Project, the Black Voters Fund, and the Rise Corporation – filed an application lawsuit Challenges the new law.
“ In large part due to racial disparities in areas outside the vote – such as socioeconomic status, housing, and employment opportunities – the voter suppression bill disproportionately affects black voters, and interacts with these remnants of discrimination in Georgia to deny black voters equality an opportunity to participate in the political process. And / or elect a candidate of their choice. “
If he survives the legal challenge, Georgia’s new law will impose a host of restrictions:
- New voter identification requirements for absentee ballots
- Empowering state officials to take over local election councils
- Restrictions on dropped ballot boxes
- Criminalization of approaching voters in line to give them food or water
And it’s not just Georgia. Efforts are underway to restrict voting in several states.
According to th Brennan Center for Justice, 253 bills to restrict voting were introduced in 43 states as of February 19. Meanwhile, 704 bills were introduced to expand voting in a variety of 43 states.
Americans clearly have two opinions about the vote.
Meanwhile, Congress may step into the picture. On March 3, the House of Representatives controlled by the Democrats Pass a bill On a party line nearby 220-210 votes to remove barriers to voting. Similar scale Currently under consideration in the Senate, the road to traffic may be more difficult.
There is a deep divide separating the two sides on the issue – those who seek to maintain or expand voting rights and those who seek to restrict them. We are not close to any solution to this critical issue. The fighting continues.