Georgia officials have responded to an elections-related lawsuit filed by the Justice Department with a request for any and all communications between the DoJ and liberal activist groups working within the state to thwart its voter integrity law.
The Freedom of Information Act request, filed by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office, comes after the DoJ charged that Georgia’s voting reform legislation passed earlier this year inhibits black residents from casting ballots.
Fox News reported Wednesday that the network had obtained the FOIA request “which requests access to DOJ communications with various non-governmental entities that are involved in legal challenges to the state’s law; DOJ communications with members of Congress or staff regarding the law; and internal guidance documents that the Justice Department uses to determine when a state election law violates the Voting Rights Act.”
Raffensperger responded to the DoJ lawsuit and his FOIA request in an interview with Fox News Wednesday morning.
(Credit: Fox News)
“The American people deserve to know who’s really pulling the strings in the hyper-partisan Biden Department of Justice,” Raffensperger said.
“We are being attacked by the DOJ. Where is this coming from? We want to find out,” he added.
“Is the Justice Department coming up with this type of targeted lawsuit against Georgia all on their own? If so, they’re politicizing the DoJ. But if they’re listening to these liberal activist groups, I believe this is extremely troublesome for all Americans,” he continued.
The network reported that Raffensperger’s FOIA requests were for all Justice Department communications with almost 60 individuals and organizations, including failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, her voting reform group Fair Fight, and the Southern Poverty Law Center as well as the ACLU, among others.
The Republican secretary of state accused the DoJ of launching a “political” lawsuit, noting that “time is of the essence” regarding the FOIA request.
“We expect a response,” Raffensperger said, noting that his state is “battle-tested” regarding the defense of its laws, including against Abrams and her organization.
In its lawsuit, the DoJ accuses Georgia of Voting Rights Act violations, which Raffensperger has vehemently denied.
Among other provisions, the new voting law, passed earlier this year in the wake of the chaotic 2020 election, requires an ID for absentee voting instead of reliance on signature matching to ensure verification.
Also, the law limits the number of ballot drop boxes to just one per county or one per 100,000 voters, while expanding early voting days and standardizing voting times, establishing minimum and maximum hours.
The law bars outside organizations from supplying food and water to voters waiting in line, which the state GOP argued could be used for illegal electioneering purposes.
In addition, the measure gives more authority to the state Legislature, which is currently controlled by Republicans, stating that the General Assembly is responsible for choosing the chairperson of the Peach State’s election board instead of that person being selected by the secretary of states.
Finally, runoff elections were shortened to four weeks from nine weeks.
The state board of elections also now has the authority to suspend county election superintendents and to investigate county boards of election.
Raffensperger said the provisions of Georgia’s law being targeted by the Justice Department “are more expansive” than in several blue states including New York and New Jersey.
“Why is Georgia being targeted?” Raffensperger said to Fox News. “We’re being micromanaged by the Justice Department, when everyone should be treated the same, with the same standard of measure.”
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