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The Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia over its voting law, Attorney General Merrick Garland and the head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, Kristen Clarke, announced Friday, arguing that it violates the Voting Rights Act.

“Today, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia,” Garland said Friday at the Justice Department. He continued, “Recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Georgia’s new election law, signed by GOP Governor Brian Kemp in March, outraged Democrats and voting rights groups with voter ID provisions and changes to mail-in voting that they say will make it more difficult for minorities and poorer voters to cast their ballots. While it adds new restrictions to absentee voting, the law also expands early voting opportunities, formalizing provisions that accommodated voters during the pandemic. It also codifies the use of drop boxes with strict rules on how they can be used and sets new rules for state and local election officials.

Adam Brewster and Caitlin Huey-Burns contributed.