Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds and four other House Republicans condemned the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent lawsuit against Georgia’s election integrity bill in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“The DOJ is using this bill as ammunition to divide the country and push the false narrative that Republican states are purposefully making it harder for minorities to vote in America,” the Republicans write in the letter, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller. Fellow Republicans Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Reps. Gregory Steube and Bill Posey also signed the letter.
The letter-writers accuse Garland of being “knowingly deceptive” in public representing the lawsuit as intended to “stop racially discriminatory provisions of [the] new law.”
The DOJ announced June 25 it would sue to prevent Georgia from implementing its new election security law. The bill expands voter I.D. requirements, requires three weeks of early voting, expands polling hours and places new restrictions on line-warming. (RELATED: The Real Story Behind Georgia’s New Rules On Handing Out Food And Water To Voters)
Many prominent Democrats, including President Joe Biden, Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams condemned the legislation as “Jim Crow 2.0.”
The lawsuit alleges that the Georgia law “was enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color” while “racial appeals have characterized a number of political campaigns in Georgia.” It also claims that the new provisions “will weigh more heavily on Black voters… both individually and collectively.”
Donalds and the other four Republicans describe the lawsuit as a “politically charged and misguided legal charade” against a state “engaging in [its] Constitutional obligation and purview to develop and pass election laws.”
They write that Florida and Georgia have passed new election laws “expanding access to the polls, maintaining security protocols such as requiring photo ID, and preventing outside influence on the sanctity of our elections by protecting the chain of custody of ballots from electioneers and ballot harvesters. Today in America, it is easier and more secure to vote in states like Florida, Georgia, and Texas than in New York and the President’s home state of Delaware.”
Florida’s election law also places new restrictions on line-warming and regulates the use of drop boxes to collect absentee ballots. It also bans ballot harvesting.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott convened a special session of the state legislature on Thursday to consider an election integrity measure. A previous version of the bill included new voter I.D. requirements for mail-in voting and eliminated drive-through voting. It also included a provision that would make it easier for state judges to throw out election results, given evidence of voter fraud.
“While Democrats are losing the argument and reversing their positions over appropriate voter laws like requiring an ID, the DOJ is acting as the political arm of the White House with their baseless lawsuit against a recently passed election law in Georgia,” Donalds told the Daily Caller.
“It is unfathomable that the DOJ has injected its authority under the guise of civil rights by politically attacking a state operating within its right to pass election reforms. AG Garland is not interested in the so-called disenfranchisement of voters; if he and his team were, they’d file lawsuits against New York and Delaware, where it is harder for Americans to vote compared to states like Georgia, Florida, and Texas.”
Read the letter here: