The federal government is gearing up to counter a wave of new election laws that have swept across many Republican-controlled states this year. The U.S. Justice Department declared the new laws an infringement on voters’ rights, especially those of Black and Hispanics.
The first state on the State Department’s list, Georgia, has been issued a class action. According to the State Department, the new election laws in Georgia are poised to limit access to the ballots for Black voters. Georgia has passed over a hundred new election laws this year, including highly controversial ones like a ban on the distribution of water and food on voter queues, stricter absentee ballot identification requirements, and an approval for a Republican-controlled state agency to take control of local voting operations.
“This lawsuit is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote,” Attorney General Merrick Garland declared in a news conference. “We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb voter access and when we see violations of federal law, we will act.”
Recently, the Senate came to an inch of passing a broad-range of election reform bills prohibiting the offshoot of election laws in Republican states that have been fuelled by the bitter row over election fraud in the 2020 elections. The failed bills saw vote cast tightly along party lines, indicating how divisive the issue of election fraud still is on Capitol hill today.
The move by the State Department for Justice is a follow up on the Federal Government’s failed attempt at the Senate, with President Joe Biden vowing to take all necessary steps to protect voting rights across the country. The State Department will also direct the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate and prosecute threats to election workers.
“We are seeing a dramatic increase in menacing and violent threats, ranging from the highest administrators to volunteer poll workers,” Garland told news reporters.
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