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Justice Department suing Georgia over voting restrictions

By Evan Perez and Devan Cole, CNN

The Justice Department is suing Georgia over new voting restrictions enacted as part of Republican efforts nationwide to limit voting access in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election defeat.

The state 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.

Republicans had cast the measure as necessary to boost confidence in elections after the 2020 election and Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated claims of fraud, but Democrats in the state have called the new law voter suppression and likened it to Jim Crow-era voting laws.

RELATED: Trump is doing more lying about the election than talking about any other subject

Shortly after it was passed in March, the law had already been challenged in court by a trio of voting rights groups: the New Georgia Project, the Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise Inc. The lawsuit said the new law “disproportionately impacts Black voters, and interacts with these vestiges of discrimination in Georgia to deny Black voters (an) equal opportunity to participate in the political process and/or elect a candidate of their choice.”

The lawsuit, coming days after Senate Republicans sunk their Democratic counterparts’ signature voting and election bill during a key test vote, represents an early example of the Biden administration attempting to use the levers of government to try to block restrictive state-level voting laws. Following the Georgia law’s passage, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation that would counter measures like it.

The President at the time called the Georgia law “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and “an atrocity.”

Opponents of Georgia’s law applauded the DOJ’s move, with the NAACP president Derrick Johnson saying it “speaks to the level of urgency that is needed to protect our fragile democracy and ensure that all voices are heard.”

Also Friday, the Justice Department announced a task force to address the rise in threats against election officials. Jurisdictions across the country, especially with high-stake local elections like in Fulton County, Georgia, reported receiving threats and racist taunts.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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