March 29, 2021

We've heard a lot about the sheer cruelty of not allowing people to give food or water to voters standing in line, but CNN took a look at the scariest issue with the new Georgia voting law by talking to Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman and Black Votes Matter director LaTosha Brown.

"Ari, your new piece is after Trump tried and failed, Georgia Republicans made it easier to overturn elections. What part of what is happening in Georgia is making it easier to overturn elections?" Alysin Camerota asked.

"Well, this is the most chilling and consequential part of the bill, Alysin. Because what it does, it allows the GOP-controlled legislature to appoint a majority of the state election board, which is in charge of certifying elections and overseeing voting rules in the state. The state election board has the power to take over county election boards. So you could have a situation where the state election board, for example, can take over election operations in Atlanta's Fulton County," Berman said.

"So remember, Donald Trump tried to get Georgia Republicans to throw out votes. This makes it a lot easier for them to do. Because they will be empowered to control these crucial election offices, meaning, they could challenge election results in a close election and they could even decline to certify election results in close outcomes. This is exactly what Trump wanted them to do in 2020 that they could not do."

"Those were the very guard rails, the safeguards that you just outlined that kept the results in Georgia from being overturned. LaTosha, what part of this new law do you find troubling?" Camerota asked.

"I think that's the most grievous part of it. That is the part that literally completely upends democracy for them to make a decision, just because they don't like the result of it and completely disempowers the board of elections, who have a different responsibility to the citizens," Brown said.

"I also think the entire deal is bad. When we look at the criminal liability of groups that are giving water and food and snacks, you know, people stood in line last year. I stood in line three hours. There were some folks that stood in line six, seven, eight, up to 11 hours. So instead of creating legislation that would actually address that problem, instead they've actually created these punitive measures to punish folks for showing up in this last election cycle in spite of the long lines, in spite of those things that we think have their part of voter suppression."

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