Georgia’s broad new elections law will add an ID requirement for voters requesting an absentee ballot, cut the length of runoffs, and effectively turn the election board over to the legislature. It also limits drop boxes and prohibits people from giving voters in line food or beverages. Voters in Georgia’s primaries faced several-hour lines at times, particularly near and in Atlanta, a heavily Democratic area in the closely divided state.
The changes passed by Republicans in the state legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Thursday come after Democrats swept a pivotal Senate runoff election in January, giving Democrats a majority in the chamber.
Republicans in and out of Georgia, especially those backing former President Donald Trump, have pushed new voting restrictions, citing “election integrity” despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Democrats and voting rights advocates have called the efforts “voter suppression.”
Biden had slammed efforts to constrain voting access at his first formal news conference Thursday, calling them “sick.”
“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is,” Biden said.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) also slammed Georgia’s new voting restrictions on Friday.
“What the state Legislature did yesterday is to try to arrest the voices and the votes of the people,” Warnock said.