Protesters opposed to Georgia’s new election law attended the launch of former Senator Kelly Loeffler’s voter registration group in Atlanta on Thursday.
Loeffler’s organization, Greater Georgia, aims to register conservative voters and compete with the Democrats‘ ground game in the state, which she believes contributed to her defeat in a special election in January.
During the Greater Georgia launch party at the Battery shopping complex, Loeffler said the group was already in the process of registering voters, according to Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein.
“We have to grow our tent, and we aren’t going to grow it by taking it down every cycle,”she said.
Loeffler shared Bluestein’s post, which included a photo of her at the event, and later sent a tweet of her own.
“Incredible turnout at our kickoff event tonight for @GreaterGeorgia!” she wrote. “It’s clear that Georgians are fired up and ready to register new voters, engage more communities, and continue restoring election integrity across our state!”
Outside the launch party, a group of around 20 protesters demonstrated against SB 202. Protect The Vote GA posted a video of the protest on its Instagram account on Thursday.
The demonstrators, who were wearing face masks, sat mostly in silence while holding signs criticizing SB 202. Bluestein also shared photos of the protesters on Twitter.
“We don’t want to cause a scene but we want people to know our votes matter, and we don’t want our voices suppressed,” Qri Montague, one of the demonstrators, told Bluestein.
SB 202 introduced new limits on the use of ballot drop boxes, extended voter ID requirements for absentee ballots and made it illegal for people to give food or water to voters standing in line, with an exception for poll workers.
“If we don’t register more voters, if we don’t engage more Georgians, bring more diversity to our party and instill more trust and confidence in our elections, I’m not sure it matters who runs for any race in 2022 and beyond,” Loeffler said in March.
“I very much am focused on the fact that half a million Georgians who voted on November 3 did not vote on January 5, the majority of whom were Republicans,” she said.
Loeffler had previously told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that her group would look at “safeguards that the majority of Georgians support” around elections, while also taking a “really hard look at the impact” of electoral changes brought about by the pandemic.
Greater Georgia is intended as a response to Fair Fight, a voting rights group set up by Democrat and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. She criticized Loeffler’s group during a CNN appearance in February.
“It’s deeply disheartening that a former US senator would spend her time and her resources to publicly engage in the type of conspiracy theories that say that only certain Americans should be valued,” Abrams said.
“That’s what Kelly Loeffler is proposing.”
After the runoff elections, Loeffler and Perdue both issued statements hinting that they would challenge their defeats and echoing the language used by former President Donald Trump when he disputed Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Newsweek has asked Greater Georgia and Protect The Vote GA for comment on this article.