SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A member of the Chatham County Board of Elections is a plaintiff in a new federal lawsuit slamming Georgia’s controversial election law.
Antwan Lang and others say GOP-backed SB 202 threatens the right to vote and separation of powers.
“I understand people call it an integrity bill. Unfortunately, it’s not,” Lang said. “As some would say, it’s more of an elections intimidation bill.”
The lawsuit against the State Election Board and secretary of state cites a long list of concerns, including a “takeover provision.” The suit charges the new law would strip local election control by allowing the State Election Board to remove county election board members.
Lang says he’s not the only one bothered by that.
“There are about five individuals from other election boards and registrars who have joined in on the lawsuit,” he said. “But it’s ultimately understanding there are also voters and other organizations that have joined in.”
“This isn’t a Chatham County issue, this isn’t a Fulton County issue, this is a state of Georgia issue,” Lang added.
The suit also cites other provisions, like the “elector observation felony.”
“You can be charged with a felony conviction by simply looking at or if you’re accused of looking at someone’s ballot,” Lang said.
The lawsuit includes a picture from Dalton, Georgia, claiming that with the way many counties set up the voting system, others could see something even if they weren’t trying.
“Even our poll workers are at risk because now someone…can accuse them of saying, ‘That person is looking at my ballot,'” Lang said.
He worries about other issues — like less time to request an absentee ballot — and says there are many issues he believes rightly need to be resolved in court.
Democrats have expressed outrage over SB 202, calling it “Jim Crow 2.0.” Lang says that while he’s an elected Democrat, he represents everyone.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Chris Carr says he will defend the state in court because the law is being misrepresented.
The suit joins a half dozen others challenging the new law.