Democrats react to new voter laws they call voter suppression

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 8:12 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Gov. Brian Kemp just signed an elections reform bill into law.

Senate Bill 202 designates where ballot drop boxes can be located. It also increases voter ID requirements and criminalizes passing out food and drinks to voters at the polls. It will also expand the number of weeks for early in-person voting.

WALB News 10′s Gabrielle Ware found out how opponents reacted to the loss.

The bill, now a law, faced severe backlash from voter rights groups. Some religious leaders and Democrats said the rules amount to voter suppression. They said it’s a direct response to Republicans losing November and January elections amid record absentee voting.

State Rep. Park Cannon was also arrested for knocking on Gov. Kemp’s door Thursday while he was signing the bill.

9to5 activist and Interim Albany-Dougherty County NAACP President, Amna Farooqui, said she’s upset but not shocked.

Interim President of the Dougherty County NAACP Amna Farooqui.
Interim President of the Dougherty County NAACP Amna Farooqui.(WALB)

“I’m really angry and disappointed that this is the state of voting rights in Georgia today. It’s not a surprise. Frankly, we saw record turnout from Black voters and brown voters in this past general election and this past runoff,” she said. “This is a direct attack on those voters and our general democracy. But at the end of the day Governor Kemp and the legislators that supported this bill and didn’t fight against it, they can make it as hard as they want to vote we are still going to come out.”

Dougherty County Republican Chairman Tracy Taylor believes the law will restore faith in elections.

”I feel pretty optimistic. I feel like we’re headed in the right direction. Because of the previous runoff and the presidential election a lot of people felt the election was unfair so I think this will restore confidence back into the voters,” he said.

The NAACP will hold a protest in response to the bill signing Monday. The protest will take place at Charles Sherrod Civil Rights Park at noon.

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