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There has been a lot of hoopla recently about Senate Bill 202, a new law signed by Republican Governor – Brian Kemp. How you view this law depends on whose talking points you believe and whether or not you read the actual law, which most people have not. Its intent is to enhance voting rules so elections are fair and safe. As reported by The Hill, the bill will…
“…require voters to provide a driver’s license or state-issued ID card number to request and submit absentee ballots, and it would curtail the use of ballot drop boxes, limiting their placement to early-voting locations and making them accessible only while the precinct is open.”
It also, according to BreitBart…
…gives the Georgia State Elections Board the ability to take over county election boards in areas that may require oversight. Georgia’s Secretary of State, currently held by Brad Raffensperger, would also be removed as chair of the State Elections Board.
In addition, the bill, which has now been signed into law, shortens the runoff election span, taking it from nine weeks after the general election to four weeks and prevents food or beverages from being given to voters who are waiting in line to vote.
Some people have seized on the language that prohibits giving people water standing in the voting line which is why there were so many tweets and Facebook and Instagram comments like this in circulation.
President Biden commented on the SB 202 as well when he called it an atrocity.
There has been a lot of debate over Biden’s comments and much of it has been debunked for those willing to listen. I will share some of what I have heard.
The issue of prohibiting people water in the voting line is not new. Its been in effect since 2005-2006 timeframe. Look up the phrase “Line Warming” which is basically giving someone a gift (for example, water or food) in an attempt to persuade them to vote a certain way. (This is the reason why you see signs that say no one can campaign within 150 feet of a voting station.) Essentially, its meant to stop things like this (see below) being given to voters in the voting line as a way of promoting a candidate.
To prove this further, here is some language from the actual law. Obviously, few people in the mainstream media (and some politicians) have not read it.
No person shall solicit votes [or] distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to [a voter] … This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer…from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to [a voter] waiting in line to vote.
The National Review made some very interesting observations about SB 202 that I feel compelled to share as well.
Now, first of all, notice what is not prohibited here. Voters can still bring bottled water or other food or beverages with them to stand on line to vote, as people often do when waiting at Disney World or to buy concert tickets or in other public places where people stand on long lines. Voters can still also, if they like, order food; the bill doesn’t stop the Domino’s Pizza man or the local hot dog cart or taco truck from doing business. And if you feel impelled to donate food and drink to voters, you can still do that, too; you just have to give it to the poll workers so they can put it out for general use. The president’s claim that “You can’t provide water for people about to vote” is just false. What you cannot do under the new Georgia law is deploy people in National Rifle Association t-shirts and MAGA hats to hand out free Koch-brothers-financed, Federalist Society–branded pizza to voters.
Someone else who has read the actual law is Henry Olsen of The Washington Post who said this among so many other noteworthy comments.
Jim Crow was a heinous system that systematically denied Black Americans — and many poor Whites — their constitutional right to vote through bogus “literacy tests,” poll taxes and other measures such as “Whites only” Democratic primaries in states where Democrats were sure to win. Backed by racist law enforcement and threats of violence or lynching by the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups, even Black people who were able to vote often chose not to. It took the civil rights revolution, and especially the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to undo this system.
The new Georgia law does nothing to return the state to this terrible time. Black voters will still be able to register without hindrance. And they, like all other Georgians, will be able to vote in many different ways: on Election Day, in-person before Election Day, or by mail without an excuse if they are 65 or older.
And after dismantling much of the alleged “Jim Crow” claims others have been making, he ends his piece this way.
No bill is perfect, and reasonable people can disagree about the balance between voter access and election integrity. But Democratic claims that this law amounts to racist voter suppression should be seen for what they are: overwrought partisan rhetoric that unnecessarily increases racial and political tensions.
And to his point, some Democrat leaders have indeed used this new law to fan the flames of racism with the hope off garnering political influence later and thus, acquire (or stay) in power. For example, Stacy Abrams applauded Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-star game out of GA, as it was done to show disapproval for the new “racist” voting law.
Woke CEOs supported Abrams and the Democrat leadership for their stance against the racial oppression they believed was inherent in the new law. Coca-Cola and Delta were the most vocal.
And then other observations were made about the law. The All-Star game would cost Atlanta $100,000,000.00 in lost revenue. It was also realized that Major League Baseball was taking the game from 51% Black Atlanta to 76% White Denver. And just like that, opinions about the new voter law changed, somewhat. Stacy Abrams seems to be walking back her opposition against the law after it sparked such a monumental economic loss for GA. (Something that may haunt her in future political campaigns?) Red State points this out…
Abrams wants everyone to forget her part in this, but as they say down South, that dog won’t hunt. She made the choice to not only actively lie, but to lobby corporations to take action. Well, they did so, and now she’s responsible. You don’t get to be a “leader” when it’s easy and then obfuscate when it comes time to own the consequences of your leadership. Anyone making excuses for Abrams at this point is just a hack — period.
Meanwhile, seeing an opportunity for his state, NY Senator Chuck Schumer invited Major League Baseball to have the all-star game in his state.
Well, that did not go over well for Schumer whose tweet went viral with Republican backlash. Among them…
So, a quick recap, because I shared a lot.
- The new law (SB 202) is not racist.
- It does not prevent people from getting water in the voting line.
- Democrat leaders like Stacy Abrams used the law to garner political power and it backfired causing GA to lose $100 million in revenue and major companies to be boycotted. (Time will tell if those ties to the Democrat party are broken as a result.)
- It also gave Republicans an opportunity to call out Chuck Schumer on his hypocrisy.
So, what have we learned from this? I think we learned that people should read laws before actively protesting them. I think we should recognize that politicians will manipulate the low-informed public whenever possible to attain more power. More often than not, left-leaning politicians will use accusations of racist intent as a way of persuading the masses. The mainstream media will champion narratives like that because it gets them higher TV ratings to profit from. (A win-win scenario for both parties.) Most of all, I think the public has finally seen this for what it is, race pandering, and will reject it so profoundly that this type of thing will never happen again.
Sorry, I needed that laugh.
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