Georgia Voting Law: Top Officials Dismiss 'Jim Crow' Comparisons

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger gives an update on the state of the election at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Ga., November 6, 2020. (Dustin Chambers/Reuters)

Top Georgia elections officials said Democrats’ claims that the state’s new voting law amounts to “voter suppression” are comparable to former President Trump’s allegations that systemic voter fraud cost him victory in the state.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his chief operating officer, Gabriel Sterling, both pushed back on claims that the new election law would prevent large numbers of Georgia residents from voting. In a statement on Friday, President Biden characterized the law as “Jim Crow in the 21st century,” claiming that the legislation would suppress voter turnout among African Americans.

“Nothing in this bill suppresses anyone’s vote . . . nothing. Those saying so are just stirring the pot and raising money,” Sterling wrote on Twitter on Friday in response to a separate comment. “The claim of voter suppression has the same level of truth as the claims of voter fraud in the last election.”

Raffensperger also criticized comparisons of the law to Jim Crow.

“I call it like I see it. I did that to the chagrin of many in my own party when I spoke out against the false claim that Georgia has systematic voter fraud. And I’m doing it now,” Raffensperger said in a statement. Claims that the law implements voter suppression “are as lazy, biased and political as they are demonstrably wrong,” he wrote.

The legislation updates processes for requesting absentee ballots, requires valid photo identification to be presented at polling places, and limits the early voting period for runoff elections. Additionally, the bill bans outside groups from giving food or beverages to voters at polling places, although it allows voters to bring their own food and beverages and permits poll workers to make food and water available for general use.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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