ATLANTA — There are growing calls for major sporting events and businesses to pull up stakes and leave Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a controversial voting bill into law.
On Monday, Democratic lawmaker Park Cannon returned to the state Capitol after she was arrested Thursday night for knocking on Kemp’s door as he signed the bill.
Under the new law, a photo ID is required in order to vote absentee by mail. The law also makes it a misdemeanor to hand out food or water to voters in line within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter at a polling site.
Channel 2′s Audrey Washington spoke to Tonya Anderson, who gave out refreshments to voters last year. Anderson said she didn’t have any conversations with voters about politics.
“I just thought it was a nice thing to do. I had the time and the resources,” Anderson said. “I definitely didn’t want anyone to get out of line to vote because they were hungry or thirsty.”
Kemp maintains that the new law will restore voting integrity.
“After the November election last year, I knew, like so many of you, that significant reforms to our state elections were needed,” Kemp said.
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But Democrats believe the move is a racially-motivated voter suppression tactic.
“I’ve never seen what happened last Thursday, where a bill is immediately transferred to the Senate, and then it goes to the governor, and he signs and it no one is none the wiser,” David Wilkerson with the Black Legislative Caucus said.
Now, there are growing calls from activist groups for business boycotts and for the film and TV industry to pull out of the state.
The National Black Justice Coalition is demanding PGA officials not hold the Master’s Tournament in Georgia and for players to boycott the event.
“They don’t care that they’re going to hurt people trying to vote when they limit ballot boxes,” Wilkerson said. “They don’t care that they’re criminalizing giving out water. At some point they’re going to care when the public reaches out and reminds them who they work for.”
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