Georgia Law Kicks Off Partisan Battle Over Voting Rights



Mr. Kemp on Friday pushed back at Mr. Biden’s criticism, saying, “There is nothing ‘Jim Crow’ about requiring a photo or state-issued ID to vote by absentee ballot.”

“President Biden, the left and the national media are determined to destroy the sanctity and security of the ballot box,” Mr. Kemp said. “As secretary of state, I consistently led the fight to protect Georgia elections against power-hungry, partisan activists.”

Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Georgia would serve as a model for other Republican-run states.

“The country was watching closely what Georgia would do,” Ms. Anderson said in an interview. “The fact that they were able to get these reforms through sets the tone and puts Georgia in a leadership role for other states.”

The Justice Department was aware of Georgia’s voting law, a spokeswoman said on Friday, but provided no further comment. The department typically reviews prominent changes in how people vote, and it can sue over a state law thought to violate any federal statutes that the department is charged with protecting, such as the Voting Rights Act or the Americans With Disabilities Act.

But the fight over new voting laws comes at a precarious time for the federal protections in place. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted one of the core provisions of the Voting Rights Act, clearing the runway for much of the current legislation aimed at restricting voting. The remaining protection, found in Section 2 of the act, is facing a new challenge before the Supreme Court, with arguments heard last month.

The debate is also spilling over into the corporate arena. Activists across the country, and most vocally in Georgia, have been chastising companies they see as silent on the issue of voting rights. In Georgia on Friday, numerous civil rights groups and faith leaders issued a call to boycott some of the standard-bearers of the Georgia business community — including Coca-Cola — until they took action against the effort to restrict voting access.


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