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Rare Senate field hearing on voting rights in Atlanta concludes

A rare field hearing came to Georgia to take testimony on voting rights.

ATLANTA — Sen. Raphael Warnock was among those to give featured testimony when a rare Senate field hearing took place Monday in Georgia.

The Senate Rules Committee held the hearing on voting rights in downtown Atlanta.

It took place at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW. 

On Thursday, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office announced the hearing would be titled, "Protecting the Freedom to Vote: Recent changes to Georgia voting laws and the need for basic federal standards to make sure all Americans can vote in the way that works best for them."

Watch a replay of the hearing here:

In addition to Sen. Warnock, featured testimony will be provided by state Sen. Sally Harrell, Houston County voter José Segarra, and Helen Butler, the executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda. Butler is also a former member of the Morgan County Board of Elections.

RELATED: Why is the government suing Georgia over its voting law?

It is set to be the first field hearing by the Rules Committee in 20 years.

"At the hearing, witnesses will testify about recently enacted legislation to restrict voting in the state and the need for basic federal standards to protect the freedom to vote," a release by Sen. Klobuchar's office said. Klobuchar is the Rules Committee chairwoman.

Democrats, likening it to "Jim Crow 2.0," have made opposition to Georgia's new voting law a central component of their political platform. Last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the government would be suing the state over the law.

RELATED: Gov. Kemp responds to Justice Department lawsuit against Georgia over new voting law

The new law institutes a range of provisions that will require ID for absentee ballots, scale back drop box access and restrict giving out food and water to those in voting lines, as well as adding a day of early voting.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia's Republican leadership have fiercely defended the law, saying that the Democratic criticisms are based on distortions.

"This is the truth, SB202 ensures Georgia elections are secure, accessible and fair. It expands access to early voting, ensures that drop boxes are available in every county and secured around the clock," Gov. Kemp said in response to the Justice Department lawsuit last month. "It implements voter ID for absentee ballots, which nearly every poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans support."

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