Gwinnett County plans to sue Georgia if voting changes become law

The Gist: As lawmakers debate a bill that makes sweeping changes to voting in Georgia, the Gwinnett County Solicitor General warns he is prepared to sue the state if the bill becomes law.

The Bill: The bill in question is House Bill 531. Among other changes, it restricts absentee ballot drop boxes, ends voting on Sundays and shortens the amount of time voters are allowed to request absentee ballots. You’ll frequently hear this bill called HB 531, the omnibus voting bill, or more broadly as proposed changes to voting in Georgia.

The Solicitor General: Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside, a democrat who unsuccessfully ran for Gwinnett County Sheriff and Clerk of Court, says he will sue the state in order to protect the rights of Gwinnett County voters.

He also claims passage of the bill could lead to civil unrest. His statement is below.

“If Georgia H.B. 531 passes and is signed into law, the Gwinnett County Solicitor-General’s Office is prepared to take legal action against the state of Georgia. H.B. 531 poses an undue burden upon the citizens of Gwinnett County during a global pandemic by removing absentee ballot drop boxes and removing Sunday early voting,” Whiteside said. “The ramifications of H.B. 531 may increase the chance of possible civil disturbance and create a burden for local law enforcement and Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections. The Gwinnett County Solicitor-General’s Office has a duty to protect the rights and safety of the citizens from any possible violent protests and unconstitutional actions.”

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