Fighting Back for Voters: Fair Fight Action v. Raffensperger
Fair Fight Action is challenging Georgia’s unconstitutional elections policies and procedures in a historic federal lawsuit against the Georgia Secretary of State and Board of Elections.
ABOUT THE CASE:
The fight for voting rights and freedom from systemic voter suppression must happen on multiple fronts: advocacy, legislation, and litigation.
The United States Constitution and other federal laws guarantee the right to vote to all American citizens.
During the 2018 and subsequent elections, and building on a long-history of suppressing the right to vote, the Secretary of State and the Georgia State Election Board violated federal voting-rights laws. They created and enforced unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful policies, engaged in gross mismanagement, and failed to fulfill their statutory duty to ensure uniform application of election laws across Georgia’s 159 counties. The result of their failed policies has created election systems and procedures that have unconstitutionally burdened the fundamental right to vote and has particularly burdened the rights of people of color. Fair Fight Action has sought relief from the federal court to enforce federal protections and correct violations of federal law.
To address the violations of Georgians’ voting rights guaranteed by federal law, our lawsuit demands improvements to the Georgia elections system from top to bottom.
Our lawsuit, initially filed in November 2018, seeks to hold Georgia accountable for an elections system that violates various rights of Georgia voters under federal law, including:
Fair Fight Action is asking the Court to implement a remedy that includes:
This lawsuit, while focused on transforming the unacceptable, unlawful, and unconstitutional elections system in Georgia, is one that Fair Fight Action believes will further pave the way for free and fair elections nationwide. When our right to vote is imperiled in any state, all Americans are threatened.
The Court reviewed and ruled on summary judgment briefings regarding the merits of the case and jurisdictional arguments. Summary judgment is a pre-trial motion in which one party argues the case, or certain claims in the case, should not go to trial because there are no facts that remain to be determined by a jury or fact-finder, and based on the law, the opposing party should not prevail on the case or claims. After summary judgment, the following claims remain in the case and will be presented during the trial:
- Georgia failed to properly train poll workers on the correct procedures for in-person absentee ballot cancellations in violation of the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments and the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause; and
- Georgia’s Exact Match Policy violates the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, and the Fifteenth Amendment and also violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
In a November 2021 Order, the Court ruled that Plaintiffs may present post-2018 evidence during trial. As a result of the Court’s Order, over 50 declarants who provided their voter stories from 2018 through the January 2021 runoff elections will be able to share their experiences and testify in court. The voters’ stories will be part of an official court record that demonstrates how Georgia’s failures to provide equal voting rights have affected the lives of the State’s citizens.
The Court has set a bench trial (a trial before the judge, not a jury) that will begin on April 11, 2022. The trial is expected to last until at least May 2, 2022, but will continue until the trial is complete.
The Court will allow a limited number of onlookers from the public to attend the trial in person. The Court will not livestream the trial. The trial will occur at the Richard B. Russell Federal Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia in courtroom 1907. Limited overflow space will be available.
FOLLOW THE CASE
To illustrate our claims and shine a spotlight on the broken elections system of Georgia, Fair Fight Action has gathered statements from hundreds of Georgia voters in every region of our state.
If you are a Georgia voter who is interested in sharing the story of the issues you experienced while voting, or attempting to vote, in the 2018 election cycle or any subsequent election, including the 2020 primary election, the 2020 General Election, and the 2021 senate run-off election, please share your story.
ATLANTA — On Monday, April 11, Fair Fight Action will brief the press following the first day of trial and opening statements in the landmark
Group announces first endorsement of regular 2022 cycle for pro-voter advocate in seat formerly held by founder Stacey Abrams ATLANTA — Today, Fair Fight PAC
Group condemns legislation that would intimidate voters and undermine democracy while calling on Kemp to listen to Georgia election officials and veto this reckless bill