Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed Republicans’ suppressive voter bill into law last week. There are several things wrong with this, not including the obvious. Philadelphia Inquirer reporter noticed the now-infamous photo of Kemp signing the bill, surrounded by six white men, behind a locked door, underneath a painting of a plantation scene. The photo is apropos of this bill. No matter how much Kemp and Republican legislators protest, this bill is voter suppression in its purest form. The bill is so egregious that President Joe Biden had to weigh in.
According to CBS News, President Joe Biden called the Georgia suppression bill an “atrocity” and said that the Justice Department is looking into the law. One of the most hateful parts of this bill is the one that makes it illegal to give food and water to people waiting in line. Historically in Georgia races, the lines are always the longest in communities that are heavily populated by black and brown people, and this law directly targets those groups. To make such a heartless, stupid law shows just how far Republicans are willing to go to ensure that people of color shy away from voting. After all Stacey Abrams did to get the vote out in 2020, rest assured that she is not taking this lying down.
Abrams’ group, the New Georgia Project, along with Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, Inc., have already filed a lawsuit against the new bill according to Forbes. The so-called “Election Integrity Act of 2021” has been appropriately renamed by these plaintiffs as the “Voter Suppression Bill.” It is so difficult to believe that Republicans are still riding the lie fabricated by former “president” Trump to explain his 2020 loss to Joe Biden. There was no fraud, and there was, accordingly, no need for any type of “integrity” to be placed on people’s right to vote. Indeed, the word “integrity” is an oxymoron, as these people have none. President Biden went one step farther, saying that the bill “has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency.” He pointed to the inclusion of a law against providing water to people waiting in line: “You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting.” That is all this bill is designed to do, given that there was no fraud in the 2020 election. Cliché aside, if something is not broken, why do you need to fix it? You do not unless it is broken only in your mind, and that is what we are dealing with here.
Though the House passed the For the People Act, which would negate bills such as this, it will require 60 votes in the Senate. This is yet another reason to do away with the filibuster. Without the filibuster, the 50 Democrats in the Senate could pass this Act into law (if they can get Joe Manchin on board), with Vice President Harris serving as the tie breaker. The filibuster must go and take arcane laws such as the Voter Suppression Bill with it.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years