Is Biden admin right to sue GA over election reforms?


Fact Box

  • On Friday, June 25, 2021, the Justice Department sued Georgia over the controversial election bill on charges that it “targets Democratic-leaning voters and disproportionately impacts people of color.”
  • Georgia’s new voting law, SB 202, requires photo ID for absentee voting, adjusts rules around ballot drops, extends hours in most polling locations from 9 AM-5 PM to 7 AM-7 PM, and prohibits anyone from soliciting/bribing voters in line with food and/or drink. However, poll officers are explicitly permitted to supply water to voters waiting in line (line 1888). 
  • Democrats and President Biden claim the voting law will disproportionately affect voters of color and say it is “un-American and voter suppression,” likening it to “Jim Crow Laws.” Governor Kemp said Biden and others are “lying about this bill to pressure these organizations.”
  • A March 2021 Rasmussen Report survey reports 75% of all US voters support voter ID laws, including 69% and 82% of Black and minority voters. 51% of Democrats view voter ID laws as discriminatory while 67% of unaffiliated voters and 79% of Republicans do not.

Bill (No)

The Biden administration's Justice Department has aimed at Georgia's recently passed Election Integrity Act, claiming that it's racist and designed to suppress minority votes. On the contrary, the Georgia law institutes needed reforms to ensure election integrity; as Georgia Governor Kemp put it, the law makes it 'easy to vote and hard to cheat.' Biden was elected president partly because the controls built into the new law didn't exist in 2020. An estimated 20,312 Georgians illegally voted in the 2020 election since they did not meet residency requirements. The Election Integrity Act addresses the gaps and loopholes that caused some of 2020's election problems.

The Georgia law tightens absentee ballot guidelines. Specifically, voters must now provide a legitimate reason for requesting an absentee ballot and submit a valid ID when making their request. Absentee ballots are the least secure way to cast your vote and ensure its validity, which makes them rife for fraud. The new law addresses the problem of illegitimate votes due to non-residents voting. It requires that Georgia participate in multi-state voter databases to verify a voter's residency and prevent someone from voting in multiple states or localities.

Finally, Georgia's voter reform bill holds local election officials accountable for their conduct to ensure that ballots are subject to qualification or disqualification standards as provided by law. Election integrity is essential to restoring the public's confidence in the voting process. Democrats' reflexive response to any efforts to build accountability and verification into the election process is to brand it as 'racist' designed to suppress votes. On the contrary, it's to ensure that fraudulent votes don't cancel out legitimate ones.

Tyler (Yes)

The United States Justice Department's decision to oppose Georgia's new voting law is backed by evidence of the restrictions that it will impose on its residents. The Georgia Election Integrity act stems from the state tallying a record-breaking voter turnout after electing Joe Biden and sending two Democrats to the Senate

Sixteen restrictive provisions to potential voting access have been identified in the new law. The law aimed to take down the No Excuse absentee voting provision, which has been a suitable and popular option for Working Class Democrats in this election. The decision to limit the amount of absentee ballot drop boxes may be influenced by the fact that nearly 30% of African-Americans elected to utilize that method in the 2020 election.

The new law will not allow Georgia to continue on the more progressive route that it is on, as it heavily favors Republican law. Voting lines tend to be much longer in low-income neighborhoods. A survey of 250,000 voters determined that voting lines in non-white areas often last 30-40 minutes longer than a less diverse neighborhood. Democrats, including President Biden, have also said this legislation bans poll workers from providing water or any refreshments to people waiting in these lines, which may prevent them from staying as long, presumably before they can even vote.

Lastly, the new voting period will prevent many people from being able to vote after church on Sunday. This is a very common time to vote in Southern Black Churches called 'Souls To The Polls,' which encourages black voters to take advantage on the second day of early voting.

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