The right to provide food and water to Georgia voters who wait in line will be decided by a federal judge. The issue initially surfaced in 2020 during the contentious election seasons.
At several precincts across the state, people waited in line for hours, sometimes in humid weather, to vote. To help encourage voters to remain in line, some community groups handed out water and snacks.
Georgia, a traditional red state, turned blue as Joe Biden won the state of Georgia on his way to the presidency. Furthermore, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both claimed victory as the Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate.
Six months later, the Republican-led Georgia Legislature passed the Election Integrity Act which banned the distribution of food and water to voters who are in line. The 98-page bill also included shortening the time to request a mail ballot, rolling back the pandemic-driven expansion of ballot drop boxes and reducing early voting before runoff elections.
Similar laws that restricted voters were enacted in 17 other Republican-controlled states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
This week, voting rights organizations asked a federal judge to block a provision that bans handing out food and water to Georgia voters waiting in line, according to the Associated Press. They argued that the ban illegally infringes on free speech rights.
A decision on the case will be made in the upcoming weeks.