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Editorial: New Georgia law increases voter suppression

As of March 18, Georgia lawmakers have passed a law that exclusively disadvantages minorities and Democratic affiliates.

According to CNN, despite the claims by Former President Donald J. Trump regarding the November election, which have frequently been proven false, this new law has illegitimized the votes of many citizens that contributed to his removal from the White House.

This new law will further perpetrate the voter suppression of African Americans, Latinos, and Democrats.

In response to this modern-day Jim Crow law, President Biden reveals his intention of using filibusters for voting rights, which will aim to lessen the restrictions regarding voting.

The November Presidential election resulted in a significant voter turnout amongst African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and women.

However, in the Georgia Senate run-off between Democratic candidates, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and Republican candidates, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler; African Americans and Democrats flipped the state.

The determination of Stacey Abrahams, former Georgia Representative, and voting rights activist helped register over 500,000 people in Georgia.

This new increase in voters resulted in an increase in minority participation, which raised African American turnout 4% more than the presidential election.

Due to the historical flip in Georgia, it is no surprise that Republican lawmakers prioritized the increase of restrictions regarding voting in Georgia.

This newly passed law implements limitations about mail-in voting, early voting, distribution centers near polling sites, and legislative powers.

According to CSMonitor, “Voters will have less time to request a mail-in ballot–11 weeks, down from the previous 180 days. They will have to return the ballot application earlier–two Fridays prior to Election Day, instead of one.”

Additionally, there are new limitations on the drop-box period for early mail-in voting, which will likely decrease the number of voter turnout, especially amongst older voters.

According to CSMonitor, “During early voting in 2020, Fulton County, which includes much of Atlanta, outfitted two recreational vehicles to travel the area and effectively bring polling places to the public.”

This specific restriction leans toward the disadvantageous targeting of minorities because mobile voting increased the voter turnout amongst minorities.

It has been reported that minority-populated communities faced harsh conditions, long lines, and unfavorable weather while voting.

As a result of this new law, it has become a misdemeanor to distribute food or water “within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place,” which steers away voters as well.

At a glance, these new limitations may not be perceived as disadvantageous or directed towards any specific demographic.

But, due to the unprecedented flip in Georgia, it is not surprising that unsatisfied Georgia Republicans want to hinder voters for upcoming elections.

As a voter in Georgia, there are many ways to ensure the validation of your vote, by visiting Headcount.org or updating yourself on the current regulations for your area.

From a community standpoint, it is important to stay connected within your community and take advantage of opportunities that can assist you in ensuring your vote

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator staff.

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