COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)- Georgia’s 98-page election law has sparked reactions from local political leaders in Muscogee County.
The context of the law has been interpreted differently by both leaders.
The law makes several controversial changes like strengthening voter ID requirements, limiting absentee ballot drop boxes, and making it illegal to hand out food or water to voters waiting in line at the polls.
“It is similar to Jim Crow laws,” Tonza Thomas, Chair of the Muscogee County Democratic Party, said. “Though it may give other people longer voter periods for early voting, it shortens it for others, so it’s like a catch-22.”
Chairman of the Muscogee County Republican Party, Alton Russell, disagrees.
“Nowhere in this law is there any mention of race,” Russell said. “Nowhere in this law does it restrict anybody from voting. There is no voter oppression.”
Opponents of the law are calling for boycotts of Georgia-based companies. Thomas compares these boycotts to other boycotts throughout history.
“They did the Montgomery bus boycott… they didn’t think about jobs, they didn’t think about what color person was going to be economically downsized because we’re doing an economic boycott,” Thomas said. “We did it together as a community then and we’re doing it together as a community now.”
Russell opposes the boycott and says the decisions are knee-jerk reactions.
“Well I think it’s ridiculous,” Russell said. “For them to not read the law and do a reaction like they did to pull businesses and to pull business out of Atlanta in opposition to this law is kind of crazy. I mean, they’re hurting the very people they’re saying they want to help.”