Biden Slams Georgia Voting Law as an ‘Atrocity’

Author : ptejengko
Publish Date : 2021-03-27 08:26:26
Biden Slams Georgia Voting Law as an ‘Atrocity’

The president said the law, which imposes new restrictions on how and when state residents can cast ballots, is simply an effort to suppress Black voting power.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ON Friday blasted a new Georgia voting law as a barely disguised effort to suppress Black voting power, lambasting in unusually harsh terms the state that helped deliver him the presidency and ensured him a working Democratic majority in the Senate.

The Peach State boasted historic turnout in November and again in January, when runoff elections delivered narrow, but critical victories in the Senate for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Biden noted.

"Yet instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote. This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country, is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience," the president said in a statement Friday afternoon.

The president's remarks came after Georgia speedily enacted a new law drastically controlling the voting process in the state. It adds restrictions on absentee voting – an important tool for people whose job schedules or family obligations make it harder for them to vote in person, especially as happened in Black majority precincts. Lines were hours long. Voting hours were also limited, making voting harder for people who could not leave work during the day.

The measure also bans outside groups from handing out water and snacks to people standing in line and limits the use of mobile voting buses – a perk that helps the carless get to the polls. It adds voter ID requirements for absentee ballots and bans the use of provisional ballots for most out-of-precinct voting, among other provisions.

"It's an atrocity," Biden told reporters as he prepared to board Marine One en route to Joint base Andrews and then Delaware. "If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they passed a law saying you can't provide water to 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."

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The law – one of many efforts GOP-controlled state legislatures are making to limit voting, citing election integrity – was immediately derided by voting advocates, who said the measure was a blatant attempt to keep Black voters – essential to putting Biden, Warnock and Ossoff in office – away from the polls.

Noting calls to boycott the state (and corporations headquartered there), Kemp angrily said it was Georgia that was being victimized by such fierce opposition to the law.

"Left-wing groups funded by out-of-state billionaires are … using outrageous false rhetoric to scare you and put millions of dollars in their own pocket. They're threatening to boycott Georgia businesses in the middle of a pandemic because they oppose election integrity," Kemp said Thursday. "According to them, if you support voter ID for absentee ballots, you're a racist. According to them, if you believe in protecting the security and sanctity of the ballot box, you're a quote, 'Jim Crow in a suit and tie,' end quotes."

Biden, in his statement, used that very rhetoric.

[ READ: Georgia Gov. Kemp Signs GOP Election Bill Amid an Outcry ]
"This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It must end," Biden said, referring to the legacy of segregationist laws enacted after the Civil War. "We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act."

Biden urged the passage of the For the People Act, a sweeping, House-passed package that imposes federal rules for voting on states, which are tasked with running their own elections. The package would, among other things, lower barriers to voting, including automatic voter registration and require voter registration on the day of an election.

Biden also called for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act, which reinstates standards in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were weakened by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling.

Neither measure is likely to pass the Senate if they are filibustered. Democratic lawmakers are debating whether to take the extraordinary step of eliminating the filibuster or reforming it, discouraging abuse of the parliamentary tactic.

Biden said he would take his case "to the American people," including rank-and-file Republicans.

"If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide," Biden said in his written statement. "Let the people vote."

Susan Milligan, Senior Politics Writer

Susan Milligan is senior political writer at U.S. News & World Report. She has covered ...  READ MORE

Tags: Joe Biden, Georgia, elections, Republican Party, race, racism

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ON Friday blasted a new Georgia voting law as a barely disguised effort to suppress Black voting power, lambasting in unusually harsh terms the state that helped deliver him the presidency and ensured him a working Democratic majority in the Senate.

The Peach State boasted historic turnout in November and again in January, when runoff elections delivered narrow, but critical victories in the Senate for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Biden noted.

"Yet instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote. This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country, is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience," the president said in a statement Friday afternoon.

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The president's remarks came after Georgia speedily enacted a new law drastically controlling the voting process in the state. It adds restrictions on absentee voting – an important tool for people whose job schedules or family obligations make it harder for them to vote in person, especially as happened in Black majority precincts. Lines were hours long. Voting hours were also limited, making voting harder for people who could not leave work during the day.

The measure also bans outside groups from handing out water and snacks to people standing in line and limits the use of mobile voting buses – a perk that helps the carless get to the polls. It adds voter ID requirements for absentee ballots and bans the use of provisional ballots for most out-of-precinct voting, among other provisions.

"It's an atrocity," Biden told reporters as he prepared to board Marine One en route to Joint base Andrews and then Delaware. "If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they passed a law saying you can't provide water to 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."

Political Cartoons on Joe Biden

View All 181 Images

The law – one of many efforts GOP-controlled state legislatures are making to limit voting, citing election integrity – was immediately derided by voting advocates, who said the measure was a blatant attempt to keep Black voters – essential to putting Biden, Warnock and Ossoff in office – away from the polls.

Noting calls to boycott the state (and corporations headquartered there), Kemp angrily said it was Georgia that was being victimized by such fierce opposition to the law.

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"Left-wing groups funded by out-of-state billionaires are … using outrageous false rhetoric to scare you and put millions of dollars in their own pocket. They're threatening to boycott Georgia businesses in the middle of a pandemic because they oppose election integrity," Kemp said Thursday. "According to them, if you support voter ID for absentee ballots, you're a racist. According to them, if you believe in protecting the security and sanctity of the ballot box, you're a quote, 'Jim Crow in a suit and tie,' end quotes."

Biden, in his statement, used that very rhetoric.

[ READ: Georgia Gov. Kemp Signs GOP Election Bill Amid an Outcry ]
"This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It must end," Biden said, referring to the legacy of segregationist laws enacted after the Civil War. "We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act."

Biden urged the passage of the For the People Act, a sweeping, House-passed package that imposes federal rules for voting on states, which are tasked with running their own elections. The package would, among other things, lower barriers to voting, including automatic voter registration and require voter registration on the day of an election.

Biden also called for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act, which reinstates standards in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were weakened by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling.

Neither measure is likely to pass the Senate if they are filibustered. Democratic lawmakers are debating whether to take the extraordinary step of eliminating the filibuster or reforming it, discouraging abuse of the parliamentary tactic.

Biden said he would take his case "to the American people," including rank-and-file Republicans.

"If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide," Biden said in his written statement. "Let the people vote."

Susan Milligan, Senior Politics Writer

Susan Milligan is senior political writer at U.S. News & World Report. She has covered ...  READ MORE

Tags: Joe Biden, Georgia, elections, Republican Party, race, racism



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