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Battle for Representation: The Ongoing Struggle for Voting Rights

In some areas of Georgia, many voters wait hours in long lines to vote. A new state law would make those lines even longer by restricting absentee and drop box voting. The law, SB 202, even criminalizes offering food and water to people too close to the voter line.

The law was enacted amid demonstrably false claims about “voter fraud” perpetuated by former President Donald Trump and his allies after Trump and two U.S. senators from Georgia were defeated at the polls. The law is a wide-ranging and blatant repudiation of voter rights in a Southern state with a long history of disenfranchisement, particularly for people of color.

In a series of profile stories by the Southern Poverty Law Center titled Battle for Representation: The Ongoing Struggle for Voting Rights, the SPLC explores the work of several nonprofit organizations that help people of color, people with disabilities, and other historically disenfranchised voters exercise their right to cast a ballot, and how the new law will make it harder for voters in the communities that these organizations serve to cast a ballot and have it counted.

The organizations profiled in this series are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed on March 29, 2021, by a coalition of civil rights groups – including the SPLC – to challenge the law, which is a revival of Jim Crow-era tactics aimed squarely at silencing the voices of people of color, low-income people, students, people with disabilities and others in the aftermath of historic voter turnout.

Image at top: A poll worker hands out pens and clipboards to people so they can fill out registration cards while standing in line to vote at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds on Oct. 30, 2020, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Hundreds of people lined up for about an hour to cast their ballots on the final day of early voting in the state. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Georgia Muslim Voter Project: Nonprofit that provides refreshments to voters in line joins suit against new suppression law

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Women Watch Afrika: Georgia nonprofit helps naturalized citizens cast their ballots

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voting line

Latino Community Fund Georgia: Nonprofit that encourages people to cast ballots is a plaintiff in SPLC suit against state voting law

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The Arc Georgia: Nonprofit that helps people with disabilities cast ballots joins SPLC suit against voter suppression law