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Democrats Protest Election Integrity Bill Inside Georgia State Capitol, Clash With Police

   DailyWire.com
A general view of the Georgia State Capitol building as Black Lives Matter activists march on January 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Megan Varner/Getty Images

Democratic Georgia lawmakers clashed with officers at the state’s Capitol building on Friday during a protest against a Republican effort to ensure election integrity through measures that include mandating voter ID for absentee voting.

Inside the Capitol, protesting Democrats were told by officers that they were in violation of the law and asked to back up when they started shouting “All Votes Matter” and climbed the stairs leading to the House and Senate chambers as legislators were recessing for lunch, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).

One of the representatives, state Rep. Park Cannon, a Democrat, walked in front of the officer’s megaphone. She was grabbed on the arm by another officer and asked to back up.

“Step aside, ma’am,” the officer told Cannon. “Go, go. Step aside.”

“You can’t touch her!” protesters yelled at the officer.

Outraged Democrats later started a sit-in on the steps, demanding an apology from Georgia State Patrol.

Captioning a video of the commotion, FOX 5 Atlanta reporter Claire Simms wrote on Friday, “Confusion at the State Capitol after some lawmakers joined in with a protest against HB 531 and a state trooper touched Rep. Park Cannon after she stood in front of a bullhorn.”

Soon after, Simms tweeted a photo of the sit-in. “A group of House Democrats has joined Rep. Cannon in a sit-in on the stairs where it happened. She maintains the officer needs to apologize publicly,” she wrote.

The Democrats sat until they “received an apology,” which was not made public, according to AJC. The sit-in lasted about 90 minutes and no arrests were made.

Georgia Republicans’ House Bill 531, filed by Republican state Rep. Barry Fleming, seeks to protect elections but enforcing conformity across the state, mandating voter ID for absentee voting, set earlier deadlines for requesting absentee ballots, restrict drop boxes, and limit weekend early voting, AJC reported.

“The goal of me speaking today is so that black people, people across the state of Georgia, poor people, mothers and seniors can vote,” Cannon said during the protest, claiming that the bill targets by race and status.

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