It's now a crime in Georgia to give voters in line food and water
CNN, 26 Mar 2021
Republicans in Georgia have passed a sweeping elections bill that voting rights advocates say is a bald-faced attempt at voter suppression.
The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.
The law is seen as a win for former President Trump and his allies, who falsely claimed widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election. Trump himself pressured Georgia leaders to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the state.
President Biden has called bills like this "sick" and "un-American." Other Republican-led states are considering similar voter suppression laws, sparking calls for federal legislation to set a national baseline for voting rules.
Advocates said they were alarmed by measures that will allow any Georgian to lodge an unlimited number of challenges to voter registrations and eligibility, saying it could put a target on voters of color.
And Democrats in the Georgia Senate lambasted measures that boot the secretary of state as chair of the state elections board and allow lawmakers to install his replacement, giving lawmakers three of five appointments.
Voting rights groups argue that granting the state new powers over county elections bucks the tradition of local control and could lead to a scenario in which state officials swoop in to prevent a county from certifying its election results.