Should the high court make changes to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which allows after-the-fact challenges to voting restrictions that may disproportionately affect members of minority groups, Democrats and voting rights groups could be left without one of their most essential tools to challenge new laws.
For decades, Georgia has been at the center of the voting rights battle, with Democrats and advocacy groups fighting back against repeated efforts to disenfranchise Black voters in the state.
As recently as 2018, Georgians faced hourslong lines to vote in many predominantly Black neighborhoods, and thousands of Black voters were purged from the voting rolls before the election. Now Republicans have again changed the state’s voting laws ahead of critical Senate and governor’s races in 2022.
Democrats, shut out of power in the Statehouse despite holding both United States Senate seats, were relatively powerless in the legislative process to stop the voting bill, though they do now have avenues through the courts to challenge the law.
The initial iterations of the bill contained measures that voting rights groups said would have even more directly targeted Black voters, like a proposal to restrict early voting on the weekends that would limit the longstanding civic tradition of “Souls to the Polls,” in which Black voters cast ballots on Sunday after church services.