The League of Women Voters of Georgia, NAACP Georgia, and other coalition partners filed a lawsuit challenging SB202, a new law that restricted early voting and ballot drop boxes and criminalized providing water and food to voters waiting in line to vote. The Department of Justice filed a similar suit, which was consolidated with the League’s suit. The law also imposes new voter ID requirements and halves the time voters are allowed to request absentee ballots.
On March 25, 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed SB202 into law. This far-reaching legislation made significant changes to absentee voting, voter ID, and election administration.
SB202 creates new voting restrictions—including new identification requirements for absentee voting, limits on the use of absentee drop boxes, invalidating provisional ballots cast before 5pm in the wrong precinct, banning any non-poll worker from giving food or drink — including water — to voters waiting in line, and more.
The League of Women Voters, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, GALEO Latino Community Development Fund, Common Cause, and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe filed a lawsuit challenging the law. The League and its co-plaintiffs argued that SB202 violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments by placing a substantial burden on the right to vote and jeopardizing plaintiffs’ right to free speech and association. Additionally, the plaintiffs argued that SB202 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against Black voters and other voters of color.
The Department of Justice filed a similar suit, which was consolidated along with other legal challenges as In re: Georgia Senate Bill 202.
Gov. Kemp signs SB202 into law
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signs into law SB202, Georgia’s omnibus voter suppression bill.
LWVGA and partners sue Georgia election officials
LWV of Georgia and other plaintiffs file a complaint against Georgia’s Secretary of State and other Georgia election officials asking the court to stop Georgia election officials from enforcing SB202's provisions.
DOJ sues Georgia election officials
The Department of Justice files a suit challenging SB202 as a violation of constitutional rights and the Voting Rights Act. DOJ requested the case be consolidated with the League's lawsuit.
Court denies defendants' motion to dismiss
The Court denies the defendants’ motion to dismiss, declaring that the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the law, and that they had stated sufficient claims under the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Cases consolidated into In Re: Georgia Senate Bill 202
Plaintiffs file motion for preliminary injunction
The plaintiffs move for a preliminary injunction to prevent election officials from enforcing the ban on providing food and water to voters waiting in line within 150 feet of a polling place.
Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction is denied
The court denies the plaintiffs’ motion, finding that the ban on providing food and water is likely unconstitutional, but that because the election will occur in less than three months, it is too late to make changes to election rules.