Georgia Republicans are advancing a bill through the state legislature that would suppress African-American turnout by eliminating Sunday voting and cutting the hours that polls are open in Atlanta.
The bill, SB 363, would force polls in the majority African
American city of Atlanta to close an hour earlier — 7 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. — and would eliminate early voting on the Sunday before Election Day. That Sunday is often a high-turnout day for African American voters because of Souls to the Polls events that encourage people to cast ballots early after attending church….
If this legislation does pass and Republicans continue to be overt about their intention to suppress black voters, the bill would violate the U.S. Constitution. Democrats and voting advocates are also likely to raise objections under the Voting Rights Act, although the U.S. Supreme Court significantly weakened the power of that landmark legislation in 2013 when it ruled that states and jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination, like Georgia, no longer need to preclear changes to their voting law with the Department of Justice.