Lawsuit alleges Georgia election law harms Asian American voters

Demonstrators in February protest against legislation to rewrite Georgia's election law. The state Legislature approved an overhaul of Georgia's election that Gov. Brian Kemp signed March 24. Four lawsuits have since been filed challenging the law in federal court. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
Demonstrators in February protest against legislation to rewrite Georgia's election law. The state Legislature approved an overhaul of Georgia's election that Gov. Brian Kemp signed March 24. Four lawsuits have since been filed challenging the law in federal court. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

A new federal lawsuit alleges that Georgia’s election law will disenfranchise Asian American voters by reducing access to absentee voting.

The lawsuit, filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, is the fourth court challenge to the voting law since Gov. Brian Kemp signed it March 24.

The case takes issue with limits on ballot drop boxes, new ID requirements, restrictions on absentee ballot application mailings and a shorter deadline to request absentee ballots.

Asian American voters in Georgia will suffer a disproportionate impact since they cast absentee ballots at higher rates than other racial groups in 2020, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday.

“This bill is not only an attack on Asian Americans, it’s an attack on all Americans who cherish democracy and freedom,” said Stephanie Cho, executive director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta. “This reactionary, racist and backward bill is a stain on Georgia, the beating heart of the civil rights movement.”

Under the law, drop boxes can only be located inside early voting locations and available during voting hours. Absentee applicants must provide a driver’s license number, state ID number or other documentation when requesting an absentee ballot. Governments are prohibited from mailing unsolicited absentee ballot application forms. And voters must request absentee ballots at least 11 days before election day.

The three other pending lawsuits contesting Georgia’s voting law were filed by the NAACP, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the New Georgia Project and several other organizations.

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