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Tags: georgia | governor | kemp | food | drinks | voting

Judge Upholds Georgia Ban on Free Food, Drinks Near Polls

a food truck with people in front of it

Democracy is Delicious handed out free snacks and water to people who voted on Nov. 3, 2020 in Atlanta. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 August 2022 08:09 PM EDT

A federal judge has denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to block a Georgia law that bans the distribution of food and drinks to prospective voters near election polling sites.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee determined the state law — signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in March 2021 — would remain intact for the foreseeable future, given that the November midterm elections are just three months from now.

Specifically, the law prohibits the act of providing food or water to voters within 150 feet of an election polling place or within 25 feet of a voter standing in line.

Proponents of the law say it prevents vote solicitation and influencing of voters.

Opponents allege the Georgia law is an intentional ploy to suppress Black votes, since African American communities often wait in longer lines when voting in statewide elections.

Boulee, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018, reportedly had a concern about the inflexibility of the 25-foot rule, given how polling places have different setups. 

In the end, though, Boulee ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, stating they're not "substantially likely" to succeed on the merits of the 150-foot ban being unconstitutional.

However, a 25-foot ban would likely pass the threshold of a reasonable standard.

In March 2021, President Joe Biden characterized the law as "Jim Crow in the 21st century."

Biden's full statement read: "If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they passed a law saying you can’t provide water to people standing in line while they're waiting to vote?"

The president added: "You don't need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote. Give me a break."

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A federal judge has denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to block a Georgia law that bans the distribution of food and drinks to prospective voters near election polling sites.
georgia, governor, kemp, food, drinks, voting
301
2022-09-19
Friday, 19 August 2022 08:09 PM
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