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Judge Hearing Opposition Discussion – NBC4 Washington

Voting integrity activists claim that some parts of Georgia’s new election law criminalize regular election monitoring activities, and the state states that those provisions strengthened previous protection and for election security. Claims to be necessary.

A federal judge will hear discussions on Thursday about activist demands to ban electoral authorities from enforcing these provisions.

The review of Georgia’s election rules has received widespread criticism from the Democratic Party and others that it will be difficult to vote, especially for voters, as well as similar measures enacted this year in other Republican-controlled states. ..

There are currently eight federal proceedings that challenge aspects of Georgia’s new law, including one filed by the US Department of Justice last week. They primarily cover some of the laws that critics say threaten voting rights. The hearing on Thursday focuses on just a handful of provisions and does not cover the most commonly criticized parts of the law.

President Joe Biden criticized his Republican proposal to limit access to votes on Thursday. “What I’m worried about is how non-American this whole initiative is,” he said. “It’s sick. It’s sick. Some states have decided that they can’t reach the people in line waiting for a vote.”

The disputed provisions are primarily concerned with monitoring or taking pictures of part of the election process.

“These laws have the purpose and effect of threatening voters and the press, who play an important role in significantly impeding election transparency, reducing election security, and providing public oversight of election administration. “Election integrity activists said in court filings. They claim that the organizations and individuals who filed the proceedings are changing their behavior for fear of prosecution.

State lawyers argued that many of the activities in question were already illegal and that the new law provided the necessary explanation. They also claim that none of the activists intend to violate the disputed provisions and that they will not face any harm unless they are prosecuted in violation of these provisions.

The Georgia First Amendment Foundation said the new law “imposed new dangerous restrictions on coverage that threatened the ability of the public and the press to continue to inform about Georgia elections,” allowing it to submit a summary of the case. Asked.

One of the disputed clauses is “intentionally observing the elector while throwing the ballot in a way that allows the elector to see who or what he is voting for.” Is a felony. Given the size, brightness, and upright position of the state’s touchscreen voting machines, “it’s almost impossible to enter a Georgia polling place without committing this felony,” activists say.

State lawyers argue that the new provisions apply to deliberate efforts to see someone’s vote, rather than accidental observations.

Another provision is to convey the information that monitors and observers see during the absentee ballot process “to anyone other than the election custodian who needs such information to perform their official duties legally.” Is forbidden. This prohibits the general public, voters, or journalists from speaking to anyone other than a specific official if they see a problem, fraud, or fraud, activists said in a filing.

The third objected provision condemns the number of absentee votes or attempts by observers to aggregate, aggregate, estimate, or aggregate, aggregate, or estimate absentee votes. .. Activists write that this will allow for arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and will have a chilling effect for political parties and the general public to monitor the processing of absentee ballots.

A new law that allows absentee ballots to be scanned weeks before elections requires that information and the number of votes not be disclosed before the vote is over, and state lawyers have a second and third opposition clause. Claims about.

The fourth objectionable provision is to take a picture of the face of a touchscreen voting machine or “while the ballot is being voted, or while the voter’s vote is displayed on such an electronic marker.” Despise recording, or taking or recording ballots. Activists argue that this provision will prevent regular news coverage of voting and ballot counting.

State lawyers claim that photography is already restricted within the polls and the new law simply provides for certain penalties. They came up with the idea of ​​a voting purchase scheme that requires voters to prove with a photo how they voted.

In response to the state’s claims about the provisions of observation and photography, activists repeatedly misunderstood what the new law was actually doing, and sometimes persuaded it at the same time that it added nothing to the existing law. He claimed to have illogically claimed to be powerful. State interests.

Activists have also challenged the provision that sets a deadline for applying for absentee ballots 11 days before the election. Activists argue that the deadline for proof of election results is 11 days before the final vote, which means that people may not be able to get an absentee ballot for the final vote.

State lawyers dismissed the concern, saying it was clear that there was an outflow early on election night and voters wouldn’t have to wait for results to be proven in order to request an absentee ballot.

Judge Hearing Opposition Discussion – NBC4 Washington

Source link Judge Hearing Opposition Discussion – NBC4 Washington

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