(PatrioticPost.com)- Georgia conservatives can rejoice, as a federal judge has decided to uphold many of the parts of the state’s new voter integrity law that they passed last year.
VoteAmerica filed a challenge to the state’s law, suing Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in the process. They were looking for the courts to get rid of some sections of the bill that added new requirements for any individuals or organizations that send out pre-filled applications for an absentee ballot to prospective voters.
The organization that filed the lawsuit is one that sends out these pre-filled ballot applications to voters throughout Georgia. They filed their suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, but Judge J.P. Boulee upheld several parts of the law.
The bill, known as Georgia SB2 202, was officially made a law in May of 2021 when Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law. Three provisions of the new law added restrictions to what can be done with those pre-filled applications for absentee ballots.
The law says that any third-party organization that sends out these ballots can’t pre-fill them out with required information that’s needed from the voters. They also can’t send these applications to voters who have already made a request for an absentee ballot on their own.
The organizations are also required to include a disclaimer that has to be printed right on the front of those forms. It has to read:
“This is NOT an official government publication and was NOT provided to you by any government entity and this is NOT a ballot. It is being distributed by [insert name and address of person, organization, or other entity distributing such document or material].”
The Republican National Committee and Raffensperger won out in the case, though, as the judge said the organization’s First Amendment rights weren’t violated in the case. The judge also ruled that their claims didn’t meet standards that would be necessary for them to receive an injunction that would’ve overturned the law.
In his decision, Boulee wrote:
“Further, this Court finds that combining speech (in the cover information) with the conduct of sending an application form, as Plaintiffs do here, is not sufficient to transform the act of sending the application forms into protected speech. Plaintiffs’ pro-absentee voting message is not necessarily intrinsic to the act of sending prospective voters an application form.”
The disclaimer that the state is requiring, the judge wrote, “simply presents information designed to reduce voter confusion regarding absentee ballot applications provided by third parties and to relieve election officials of the administrative burdens resulting from such confusion.”
It’s not that far-reaching of reasoning, either. Voters should have a right to know very clearly who they are receiving information from. It’s the job of the government to make sure that people know that the information they are receiving isn’t from them in any official capacity, but from an independent organization.
There are many lawsuits that are similar to the Georgia one that are going on throughout the country in the lead-up to the midterm elections this November