Trial to decide of some of state’s elections laws are unconstitutional gets underway

ATLANTA — A federal court judge could decide if some of Georgia’s elections laws are unconstitutional.

A series of voter advocate groups are suing the state, claiming those laws actually obstruct voting.

As the first day of the trial got underway, Channel 2′s Richard Elliot asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about the case, who said he could only comment that “it starts today. It took several years to get here.”

Raffensperger made those comments as he announced he was referring to state investigators in what he claims are some 1,600 cases of noncitizens attempting to register to vote.

Just blocks away, a federal judge was hearing a lawsuit against him, filed by Fair Fight Action and several other groups.

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They filed that suit nearly three years ago challenging Georgia’s elections laws, saying they actually obstruct voters from casting ballots and disproportionately affect people of color.

The judge dismissed portions of the suit over the years but allowed the central part to continue.

Raffensperger thinks they’ll win this, too.

“It’s a bench trial, but we will meet them, and we will beat them in a court of law, and as I said, we’ll take this all the way to the United States Supreme Court,” Raffensperger said.

In a statement, Fair Fight’s executive director defended the suit, saying:

“Since the start of this lawsuit, we have highlighted real voters and their challenges, because we believe reporting their experiences to be one of the most effective ways of demonstrating the barriers in Georgia’s elections system.”

This trial is expected to last several weeks.

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