White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is taking aim at Georgia’s new controversial voting law, which she says is based on a “lie.”
During a press briefing on Tuesday, she said, “The Georgia legislation is built on a lie. There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Georgia’s top Republican elections officials have acknowledged that repeatedly in interviews. What there was, however, was record-setting turn out especially by voters of color.”
“What we’re seeing here is for politicians who didn’t like the outcome, they’re not changing their policies to win more votes. They’re changing the rules to exclude more voters. And we certainly see the circumstances as different,” she added.
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White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki says that Georgia’s new voting legislation “is built on a lie.”— The Recount (@therecount) April 6, 2021
But she adds: “It’s up to Major League Baseball to determine where they’re holding their All-Star Game.” pic.twitter.com/O8rKvx84oX
Psaki’s comments come after Republican lawmakers in the Georgia legislature passed a controversial new election that President Joe Biden has described as “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”
The law is facing legal challenges.
Georgia Republicans passed the law in March following former President Donald Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated allegations of widespread fraud in the presidential election that titled the result’s in Biden’s favor.
Georgia’s top elections officials, who are Republicans such as Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, have debunked Trump’s claims.
The law shortens the time to request absentee ballots from 180 days to 78 days and bans election officials from mailing ballot applications to all voters. It also requires voters to write their driver’s license number or state-issued identification number on their ballot application.
Additionally, it bars third-party organizations, people who are not election workers, from handing out food or water to people standing in line to vote within 150 feet of the polling location.
The law also puts new limits on early voting hours to ensure that voting only occurs between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during weekdays. It stipulates that early voting will begin four weeks before election day and requires that two Saturdays be made available for early voting.
But it does not require that early voting be available on Sundays, a popular day that Black churches organize to take church-goers to vote.
And it bans mobile voting, where recreational vehicles travel around counties to bring polling locations to the voters unless there is a state of emergency. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, mobile voting was only used in Fulton County, which is the county with the largest population of Black voters.
The law has received backlash as CEOs of companies such as Delta Airlines, and Coca-Cola have criticized the law. Delta is the state’s largest employer. Additionally, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced it is moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
Despite the outrage over the law and claims that it will suppress the vote, the Times’ Nate Cohn, who covers polling and demographics for the paper, said that the law might make voting invperson easier even while making voting by absentee ballot harder.
Additionally, he argued, “it does mean that many such voting provisions, like that in Georgia, are unlikely to have a huge effect on turnout or Democratic chances.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) defended the law as he claimed the suggestion that the bill will suppress votes is “misinformation.” Instead, he argued it expands access to voting.