Democrats are furious about the sweeping election reform measures recently signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R).
According to the Washington Examiner, the new rules changes include a provision requiring voters to show ID when submitting an absentee ballot, among other things. But while Georiga Republicans are clearly interested in preventing malfeasance at the polls with these reforms, Democrats are convinced the moves are really part of a large attempt to turn away voters.
It was on Thursday that Gov. Kemp gave his stamp of approval to the voting reform bill, which requires those submitting an absentee ballot to also submit their driver’s license number or provide similar state-issued identification.
Other provisions newly signed into law include one providing state officials with the authority to take over local election boards and one putting restrictions on the use of ballot drop boxes.
Specifically, ballot drop boxes will not be made available within four days before the polls close — a point by which it is typically too late to cast a vote by mail, as the Examiner notes.
But in the wake of the debacle that was the 2020 election, Republicans including Kemp felt a change was long overdue.
“Significant reforms to our state elections were needed,” the governor said, according to the Examiner. “There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled, and those problems, understandably, led to a crisis of confidence in the ballot box here in Georgia.”
Dems cry foul
The legislation passed by a vote of 100–75 in the Georgia state House and 34–20 in the state Senate, votes that fell largely along party lines, according to reports. Unsurprisingly, Democrats were quick to suggest nefarious motives were at play.
According to the Washington Examiner, opponents to the bill gathered near the state Capitol building to protest what they saw as racially motivated voter suppression.
“I’m here because the work never ends,” one person told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a reminder to Democrats around the country that this is going to be an ongoing fight.”
Joe Biden also made reference to the new Georgia law and similar measures being considered elsewhere during his first press conference as president on Thursday afternoon, comparing them to tactics used by segregationists.
“I’m convinced that we’ll be able to stop this, because it is the most pernicious thing — this makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” the president complained, according to NBC News.