Last month Georgia’s Republican legislature passed SB 202 to “restore election integrity,” in the words of GOP leaders, and Governor Kemp promptly signed it. Since its passage, this bill has been criticized throughout Georgia and the nation as voter suppressive, and lawsuits have been filed by five voter groups to stop its implementation.
You’ll remember that former President Trump claimed the 2020 election in our state was fraudulent even before the election results were finalized, and Georgia’s Governor and Secretary of State investigated and defended it successfully in court against Trump’s claim. They certificated the results as fair and legitimate, and said Trump’s allegation was not true.
But then the state GOP leaders apparently became fearful and claimed they needed to pass a new voter law to “restore integrity” after Trump kept lambasting Georgia, its leadership, and the 2020 election as fraudulent. The new law, however, has nothing to do with voter integrity; instead, it impacts all voters negatively whether they vote absentee, early, or on election day. The previous election law, a 2005 product of state Republicans, worked fine, and no one has proved it needed to be changed.
The truth is as clear as daylight—lawmakers were working toward one thing only, restoring their own “integrity” in the eyes of Trump by passing a version of the law he would be proud of, and they must have been delighted when they read the former President’s glowing message of “Congratulations to Georgia and the Georgia State Legislature,” almost before the Governor’s signature was dry on SB 202. What a relief it must have been for them to be aboard the Trump train again!
Trump, Kemp, and the Georgia Republican legislators are close buddies again. They won, and Georgia voters lost. Just when we thought the political screaming had become a little quieter, our GOP legislators have challenged us with a new voter law that aims to reduce voter turnout and sweep Democrats out of office, kicking off a new cycle of Georgia political debate.