In late March, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed the “Election Integrity Act of 2021” into law.
“With Senate Bill 202, Georgia will take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible and fair,” Kemp said. “Ensuring the integrity of the ballot box isn’t partisan, it’s about protecting the very foundation of who we are as Georgians and Americans.”
“The key components of the bill aim to improve ballot security and standardize the variations which occurred across the state during the November elections, with ‘broad discretion allowed to local officials.’ In addition, instead of signature verification, Georgians who wish to cast their absentee-by-mail ballots will now be required to prove their identity in the form of a driver’s license, state ID number, or other form of identification.”
In familiar fashion, the Democrats and the media responded by promoting a handful of outright falsehoods regarding the bill itself, as well as its underlying motivation. Let’s debunk these despicable and irresponsible falsehoods.
Georgia voters can’t get water
Perhaps the most absurd claim pushed by the Left is that Georgia is actively preventing voters from accessing water while waiting in line to vote.
Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, tweeted on March 25 that “Tonight Georgia’s legislature passed a bill brazenly intended to make it harder for Georgians to vote,” adding that “Among its outrageous provisions: it criminalizes *giving water to voters who are waiting in line.*”
This false talking point was pushed by many Democrats, including President Joe Biden.
“It’s an atrocity. The idea, you want any indication, it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency. They pass a law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line, while they’re waiting to vote. You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote? Give me a break,” Biden claimed.
Here is what the bill actually refers to:
“No person shall solicit votes [or] distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to [a voter] … This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer…from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to [a voter] waiting in line to vote.”
As National Review’s Dan McLaughlin noted, “The president’s claim that ‘You can’t provide water for people about to vote’ is just false. What you cannot do under the new Georgia law is deploy people in National Rifle Association t-shirts and MAGA hats to hand out free Koch-brothers-financed, Federalist Society–branded pizza to voters.”
“In other words, this entire controversy is not about people dropping dead of hunger and thirst on long voting lines at all. It’s about electioneering around the polling place by people looking to advertise that they represent a cause, and who try to influence voters by giving them free stuff. Across the country today, we already have lots of laws against this sort of thing. There is nothing wrong with Georgia trying to limit it,” McLaughlin continued.
Voter ID is racist
The second argument being pushed — both implicitly and explicitly — by the Left is that requiring voter ID is racist.
According to the ACLU, for example, “Voter ID laws deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation, and stand in direct opposition to our country’s trend of including more Americans in the democratic process. Many Americans do not have one of the forms of identification states acceptable [sic] for voting. These voters are disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Such voters more frequently have difficulty obtaining ID, because they cannot afford or cannot obtain the underlying documents that are a prerequisite to obtaining government-issued photo ID card.”
Not only is this argument based entirely upon a soft bigotry of low expectations — the view that black people are somehow incapable of obtaining a form of identification — it also ignores that identification is required to vote in numerous other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Finally, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey, “75% of likely U.S. voters believe photo identification should be required to vote,” including 60% of Democrats and 69% of black voters. Are they racist too?
Just like “Jim Crow”
The claim that Georgia’s election integrity laws are synonymous with Jim Crow was immediately pushed by multiple Democrats.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren — while promoting the additional conspiracy theory that Stacey Abrams won Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race, despite losing by more than 50,000 votes — claimed that this “despicable voter suppression bill” will “take Georgia back to Jim Crow.”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid also described the bill as “Georgia Jim Crow law” aimed at “suppressing Democratic votes.”
Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece also weighed in, calling the bill “The new Jim Crow, except that it’s actually the old Jim Crow.”
Biden, in his first press conference as President, parroted this narrative, saying Georgia’s new voter ID law “makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”
As reported in late March, “Given that it was the Democrats who imposed the actual Jim Crow laws upon black Americans throughout the Southern United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, you would think that they would have some understanding of what these rules involved.”
Jim Crow laws mandated complete racial segregation, and “were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote, hold jobs, get an education or other opportunities.”
To compare Jim Crow laws to Georgia’s election integrity bill — which actually expands voting rights in several ways — is arguably the biggest falsehood of all.
It’s certainly the most despicable.
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