The Justice Department is filing a lawsuit against the state of Georgia to try and overturn a new voting law that Democrats allege discriminates against minorities, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday.
The DOJ’s suit takes aim at Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., in March after it was passed by the Republican-led state legislature.
The action is the first major voting rights case the DOJ has filed under the Biden administration. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill had been briefed on the matter, the Washington Post said.
"This lawsuit is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote," Garland said.
Kemp issued a statement saying: "This lawsuit is born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act from the start."
Republican-led state governments across the country have been seeking to impose broad new voting laws in the wake of the 2020 election. Former President Donald Trump and allies have said voter fraud led to President Joe Biden’s victory.
Earlier this week, Senate Republicans blocked Democrats' expansive overhaul of U.S. election laws from advancing to the chamber floor.
The Post said Georgia’s law imposes new limits on the use of absentee ballots, makes it a crime for outside groups to provide food and water to voters waiting at polling stations, and hands greater control over election administration to the state legislature.
"The complaint alleges that the state enacted those restrictions with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on the basis of race of color," Garland said.
Democrats and voting rights groups say the new Georgia law will disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color.
Among highlights, the law requires a photo ID in order to vote absentee by mail, after more than 1.3 million Georgia voters used that option during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also cuts the time people have to request an absentee ballot, and limits where ballot drop boxes can be placed and when they can be accessed.
The country’s current woke climate resulted in opponents taking action against Georgia.
Major companies including Amazon, Google, and Netflix signed a statement opposing "any discriminatory legislation" that makes it harder for people to vote.
Major League Baseball moved its annual All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver.
Trump called on Republicans and conservatives to boycott a number of companies as a result of their reactions to the law.
"For years the Radical Left Democrats have played dirty by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or stated in any way that offends them," Trump said in a statement released by his Save America PAC. "Now they are going big time with the WOKE CANCEL CULTURE and our sacred elections.”
Kemp defended the Georgia law after MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred announced the All-Star Game would be relocated.
"I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight," Kemp said. "We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced.
"Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, and Delta may be scared of [activist] Stacey Abrams, [President] Joe Biden and the left, but I am not."
Bloomberg L.P. contributed to this story.
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