Republicans lawmakers in Georgia on Monday pushed legislation through the state House that will heavily restrict voting access primarily for Black voters. Stacey Abrams and other civil rights leaders are now speaking out against the measure.
The legislation—which follows record Black voter turnout and Democratic wins in Georgia for both the 2020 presidential election and January’s two Senate runoffs—will now move to the state Senate for another vote.
Georgia House Bill 531 would stop no-excuse mail-in voting, cut back early voting on Sundays, restrict access to drop boxes and limit early voting hours, according to The Associated Press.
GOP leaders in the state claim the measure seeks to restore voter confidence after Donald Trump’s false, rampant claims of voter fraud.
“It’s pathetically obvious to anyone paying attention that when Trump lost the November election and Georgia flipped control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats shortly after, Republicans got the message that they were in a political death spiral,” Democratic Rep. Renitta Shannon told the AP. “And now they are doing anything they can to silence the voices of Black and brown voters specifically, because they largely powered these wins.”
Stacey Abrams, Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, slammed the new legislation over the weekend. She described them as “racist” and “a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie.”
The Washington Post reported Monday that Coca-Cola and Home Depot, two major corporations based in Georgia, also oppose Georgia Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting for minorities. This comes after activists and civil liberties groups like Black Voters Matter, the New Georgia Project Action Fund and the Georgia NAACP have been pushing for major corporations to step up and take a stance against voter suppression.
Georgia is currently one of 43 states where voter suppression legislation is being proposed.