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AG Derek Schmidt: Dismiss Biden Administration legal attack on state voting laws

Release Date: Aug 09, 2021

TOPEKA – (August 9, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Biden Administration that seeks to overturn the State of Georgia’s new election laws, which include provisions similar to laws in Kansas.

Schmidt last week joined 15 other states in filing a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, arguing that the Biden Administration’s claims regarding Georgia’s duly enacted election reforms are baseless and the attacks are a threat to election laws nationwide. Schmidt noted that Kansas has similar laws regarding voter identification and election security.

The brief states that Georgia’s new election laws increase voting opportunities by adding early in-person voting days and guaranteeing the availability of drop boxes for absentee ballots.

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that parts of Georgia’s law designed to prevent fraud are motivated by race discrimination because the courts and election administrators have not identified fraud widespread enough to have changed the results of the 2020 General Election and the 2021 runoff.  

But, as “the Supreme Court recently recognized, states need not wait for fraud to infect an election before taking steps to prevent it,” the brief explained. “Georgia’s law is a reasonable updating of the rules of the road in a greatly expanded voting environment, and successfully balances the tensions between two virtues: free and fair elections. The Court should dismiss the Department’s complaint.”

Schmidt said the federal government is using the Georgia lawsuit in an attempt to seize control of the details of states’ election laws, a right reserved for state legislatures in the U.S. Constitution. Earlier this year, Schmidt joined with other attorneys general in warning U.S. Senate leaders that the pending federal elections bills, H.R. 1 and S. 1, are an unconstitutional attempt to federalize elections and will be challenged in court if they were to pass. Schmidt's office also is defending the new Kansas election-reform laws enacted earlier this year against two lawsuits filed by special-interest groups challenging their constitutionality.

A copy of the brief filed in United States v. Georgia can be found at https://bit.ly/3s2Y4JJ.

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