A viral social media video appears to show protesters inside Georgia’s state Capitol building as both chambers passed bills expanding voter ID laws.
“ID for absentee ballots are now required in Georgia. Angry leftists react by storming the state capitol,” Ian Miles Cheong said on Twitter, attaching a video of an interaction between protesters and the police inside the Capitol building.
ID for absentee ballots are now required in Georgia. Angry leftists react by storming the state capitol. pic.twitter.com/xt92xcDGwW
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 1, 2021
According to WXIA reporter Doug Richards, the protester seen in the video confronting a state trooper is Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon.
Cannon and several other Democratic members of the Georgia House of Representatives joined protests of the new legislation. About a dozen lawmakers stood in front of a large marble staircase in the Capitol, holding signs that read “Protect the vote” while chanting, “Stop voter suppression.”
A state trooper using a bullhorn then attempted to disperse the lawmakers, informing them that they were in violation of a state statute against disturbing lawmakers in session.
“You will disperse immediately, or you will be arrested,” the trooper said through the bullhorn.
Cannon moved her head in front of the bullhorn, prompting another trooper to grab her by the elbow in an attempt to move her away. The lawmaker became angry about the physical contact before confronting the troopers about the statute, arguing that the House was no longer in session.
“Session is adjourned, so there is no disrupting of the session,” Cannon said. “Session is over! That is why all the members are out!”
While the House had entered recess for lunch at the time of the incident, the Senate was still in session.
“No! That is not true,” Cannon said as another trooper attempted to get the lawmakers to disperse. “There is no disrupting of the members.”
Troopers were eventually ordered to deescalate the situation, backing away from the protests, which lasted for the rest of the House session.
The Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 531 on Monday by a 97-72 vote, prompting the protests from Democratic lawmakers and some voting rights groups.
The bill would require a photo ID for absentee voting, put limits in place on the amount of time voters have to request absentee ballots, place restrictions on ballot drop box locations and when they can be accessed, and limit early voting hours on weekends.
Democrats have accused the state’s Republican lawmakers of responding to former President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud, arguing Trump’s claims were not backed by evidence and insisting the new laws unfairly target the state’s minority populations.
Republicans argue the bill is necessary to restore confidence in the state’s election integrity.
Author: Michael Lee
Source: Washington Examiner: Video shows protesters inside Georgia state Capitol as lawmakers pass expanded voter ID laws