Skip to main content

The Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc., et al v. Raffensperger, et al. (N.D. Ga.)

SB 202


In 2020, nearly five million Georgians cast a ballot in the November elections. On the heels of this historic turnout, Georgia legislature enacted Senate Bill 202 (SB 202), which creates significant barriers for Black, Latine and other voters of color to cast a ballot in Georgia.

Among other things, this bill:

  • restricts access to absentee voting
  • imposes additional identification requirements to request a mail-in ballot
  • significantly limits the number of ballot drop boxes
  • prohibits mobile voting units
  • restricts early voting in runoff elections
  • makes “line warming” or handing out food and water to voters waiting in line to cast ballots a criminal offense
  • invalidates out-of-precinct provisional ballots
  • authorizes individuals to make unlimited challenges to voters’ eligibility
  • allows the  State Election Board to take over county election administration.

The case

In 2021, a number of organizations, including the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Justice Initiative, Metropolitan Atlanta Baptist Ministers Union, First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, all represented by Advancement Project, filed a lawsuit challenging SB 202.

We are arguing that:

  • SB 202 blocks Black, Latine, and other Georgia voters from accessing their right to vote
  • The law’s criminalization of voter assistance activities like line warming violates the First Amendment rights—freedom of speech and freedom of expression—of faith communities and Georgians across the state.
  • The reduction of weekend voting hours for early voting and runoffs makes it harder for faith communities who coordinated “Souls to the Polls” to get Black churchgoers to vote together after faith-based services.
  • SB 202 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, by discriminating against voters of color.

This case has been consolidated with lawsuits brought by five other plaintiffs groups, one of which is the U.S. Department of Justice.

Where we are now

Advancement Project continues to litigate the case towards trial with our co-Plaintiffs.

On August 2023, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia prohibited enforcement of the line relief ban in the “Supplemental Zone,” which is defined as extending within 25 feet of any voter standing in line beyond the 150-foot Buffer Zone established around polling locations.

The judge also prohibited Georgia election officials from rejecting a voter’s absentee ballot if the voter does not write their proper date of birth on their absentee ballot envelope.

The case remains ongoing as the district court considers the State’s motion for summary judgment.