ATLANTA — Since the passage of SB 202, Georgia’s new election has made national headlines as Democrats across the country vow to stop any laws that limit voting, and Republicans say they want to make sure that the integrity of the vote is preserved in future elections.
That fight from both sides came to light once again this week in President Joe Biden’s visit to Gwinnett County and in Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal to Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress.
Under the new law, a photo ID is required in order to vote absentee by mail. The law also makes it a misdemeanor to hand out food or water to voters in line within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter at a polling site.
State Democrats call the law voter suppression while Republicans say the new law will restore voting integrity.
“More people voted for president in 2020 than any time in American history ever on, they did it in the middle of a pandemic,” Biden said during his Duluth rally Thursday, celebrating his first 100 days in office. “You’ve seen what’s happened here in Georgia. It’s just wrong.”
Scott says Democrats are making noise about the law without reading it.
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“If you actually read this law, it’s mainstream. It will be easier to vote early in Georgia than in Democrat-run New York. But the left doesn’t want you to know that. They want people to virtue-signal by yelling about a law they haven’t even read,” Scott said. Fact-checkers have called out the White House for misstatements. The President absurdly claims this is worse than Jim Crow. What is going on here? I’ll tell you. A Washington power grab.”
Biden said Georgia’s new voting law is the reason national voting reform needs to happen.
“In this state of Dr. King and John Lewis. You know how precious and how precarious the right to vote is,” Biden said. “That’s why we have to pass the voting rights protection laws coming through the Congress right now.”
HR 1, if passed, would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows wealthy donors to anonymously bankroll political causes.
Scott called the bill a Washington power grab.
“This is not about civil rights or our racial past. It’s about rigging elections in the future,” Scott said.
This bill “will put a stop at the voter suppression that we’re seeing debated right now,” said Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Ga., 5th District.
The federal bill is named after the late Rep. John Lewis who spent his life fighting for civil and voting rights.
“This bill is the ‘Good Trouble’ he fought for his entire life,” Williams said.
Other states, like Texas and Arizona, have proposed similar bills to Georgia’s new voting law. There are at least four lawsuits currently filed against the state’s voting law.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Cox Media Group