It's been a busy week in Georgia
While the number of major sporting events roiled by Georgia's voting law looks to hold steady, now that it's expanded to two, the number of lawsuits to reverse the new restrictions keeps steadily growing.
The Masters got underway Thursday, but not before the Augusta National Golf Club's reputation as proudly insulated from modernity got rattled by the large number of golfers and the club's own chairman speaking out about the biggest civil rights story of the year.
At the same time, civic engagement groups that sent millions of absentee ballot applications to Georgians last year sued to block provisions of the law they alleged would unconstitutionally curtail such outreach. It was the fifth such federal suit filed in the two weeks since Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure, and more are in the works.
Arizona is about to become the second state this year to explicitly prohibit the use of non-government money to administer elections. A similar ban on philanthropic underwriting of democracy was included last month in Georgia's sweeping overhaul of voting rules.
Both measures were written by Republicans who describe the use of private cash to smooth voting processes and ballot-counting as unconstitutional, at most, and at a minimum a barely disguised effort by progressives to tilt elections their way.
Both states got slices of the $400 million that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated last fall to help local governments conduct comprehensive and Covid-safe balloting at a time when state budgets for elections were overstretched and a hoped-for infusion of funding from Congress got caught in partisan gridlock.
Georgia's new elections law positions the GOP-dominated Elections Board to control nearly all aspects of voting. No provision in the Georgia law looks to be more harmful to Black voters or more fatal to democracy's survival, writes Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat of the U.S. Vote Foundation.
Are the Political Parties Too Weak, Too Strong...or Obsolete? A (historical) conversation with Mickey Edwards
Open Primaries President John Opdycke and former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards are going to dive right into the hard questions regarding parties — including questions that were as relevant 100 years ago as they are today.