The Democrats’ response to any attempts by state legislatures to ensure integrity in their states’ elections is to cry “racism” and “Jim Crow.” Georgia’s new voting law, entitled the “Election Integrity Act of 2021,” has become the Democrats’ favorite punching bag. They are twisting the truth about the law to bolster their case for stripping the states of their constitutional authority to determine the times, places, and manner of conducting elections within their own jurisdictions.
President Biden claimed that Georgia’s new voting law is “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” Senator Elizabeth Warren, who still accuses Georgia’s duly elected Republican Governor Brian Kemp of stealing the 2018 election from Democrat activist Stacey Abrams, said that the governor “signed a despicable voter-suppression bill into law to take Georgia back to Jim Crow.”
Businesses are being pressured to strongly protest Georgia’s new voting law. The CEO of Delta Airlines, which is based in Atlanta, got the message. He said that the “entire rationale” for the law is “based on a lie.” It is the branding of Georgia’s new law as “Jim Crow” that is the real lie.
At least three lawsuits have been filed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act. One of the complaints filed in federal court called it the “Voter Suppression Bill.” The only thing that Georgia’s new law suppresses is cheating.
The “Voter Suppression Bill” complaint, for example, claims that the new law “[I]mposes unnecessary and burdensome new identification requirements for absentee voting.” To the contrary, the requirements serve a rational purpose to root out voter cheats and are not burdensome. A voter requesting an absentee ballot needs to submit with their application their driver’s license number, their personal identification number on a state-issued personal identification card, or a photocopy of other specified forms of identification.
Only race-mongers and election “reform” opportunists would label such voter identification requirements as voter suppression. These requirements are no more burdensome than the forms of ID that individuals are required to show before they can fly or cash a check. Voters can obtain a free voter ID card from any county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services. There is no financial or other barrier discriminatorily preventing members of minority communities from obtaining a free voter ID card. Moreover, according to a 2019 working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, strict ID laws were found to have had “no significant negative effect on registration or turnout overall or for any subgroup defined by age, gender, race, or party affiliation.”
Critics of Georgia’s new law complain that Georgia has reduced the number of days to request an absentee ballot from 180 days to 78 days. The Georgia legislature had found that a too lengthy absentee ballot process had “led to elector confusion, including electors who were told they had already voted when they arrived to vote in person.” Only race-mongers and election “reform” opportunists would consider providing 78 days to request an absentee ballot, instead of an absurdly long 180 days, to be voter suppression. The same is true with those who think it is racist to prohibit the state from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot applications to who knows what addresses.
The race-mongers and election “reform” opportunists also think that it is so shockingly racist to require that absentee ballots be verified and accepted by 5:00 pm the day after the election. When do they think a post-Election Day deadline is no longer racist? A week after Election Day? A month? A year?
What the race-mongers and election “reform” opportunists don’t want the general public to know about Georgia’s changes to its election law is that the changes do not restrict the substantive grounds for an eligible voter to request an absentee ballot. Moreover, contrary to the distortions the law’s critics are bandying about, the changes do not require that an absentee ballot be rejected solely due to an apparent mismatch between the identifying information of the voter on the application and the identifying information of the voter on file with the board of registrars. In such cases, the law says that the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall send the voter “a provisional absentee ballot with the designation ‘Provisional Ballot’ on the outer oath envelope and information prepared by the Secretary of State as to the process to be followed to cure the discrepancy.”
Georgia’s new election law expands most voters’ access to in-person early voting. There will be three weeks of early voting, with voting hours from at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and up to as many as 12 hours of voting. As for weekend voting, early voting must be made available on both Saturdays of the early voting period, and counties will have the option to hold voting on Sundays as well. But we wouldn’t know about this expansion of early voting in Georgia if we relied on the dishonest race-mongers and election “reform” opportunists for our information. How come nobody is criticizing Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware, which still has no early voting at all as of today and won’t have any early voting until 2022? Why isn’t Senator Warren pressing for the holding of in-person early voting for elections in her home state of Massachusetts beyond the two weeks that are presently the case – a week less than Georgia provides?
Georgia’s new election law’s critics have seized on the law’s controversial provision prohibiting people from approaching voters standing in line waiting to vote and offering them any money or gifts including food or drink. The purpose is to keep campaign workers and other partisans from offering such inducements near polling places as a tactic to push voters at the last minute into voting the partisans’ way. Aside from voters being able to bring their own food and drink, the law allows poll workers to make available water to voters waiting in line to vote. However, the critics would like us to believe that Georgia is forcing voters to endure horrendous thirst or hunger as the price for standing in line to vote.
Poll taxes, literacy tests, property tests, and voter intimidation through violence or threats of violence were examples of what real Jim Crow measures preventing blacks from voting looked like. They are all gone and are not coming back in another form today as the demagogues want us to believe. Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021 protects the sanctity of the vote with common sense safeguards ensuring that every legitimate vote cast by voters of any race, age, gender, or party affiliation counts.