Geoff Caldwell: Georgia voting experience dispels national media narrative |  opinion


March 25, 2021: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs the 2021 Election Integrity Act into law.

Also on March 25, 2021, The New York Times published an article by Nick Corasanti headlined, “Georgia GOP Passes Major Law to Limit Voting Amid Nationwide Push.” ​​It begins with “Georgia Republicans Thursday passed sweeping legislation to restrict voting access in the state, impose stricter voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, limit drop boxes, and expand legislature power over elections.”

Apparently, the editor responsible for keeping news articles free of drama and adjectives intended to sway the reader was unavailable that day.

To be fair, Corasanti wasn’t alone in his exaggeration. The national narrative was already established, and he reported only as needed.

Earlier that day, President Joe Biden stated in language only he knew that the law “makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” followed a day later with statements that “this is Jim Crow at 21 cruelty” and that it is “a blatant attack on the constitution and a good conscience”.

In one of the strongest examples yet of the power of false narrative driving policy, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. announced a week later that Major League Baseball would be “moving this year’s All-Star Game and the MLB Draft.” It was a cowardly decision that has caused untold economic damage to minority entrepreneurs and workers.

As outcry against MLB’s decision grew, USA Today threw ethics to the wind and had former Democratic gubernatorial nominee and activist Stacey Abrams “update” her March 31 op-ed, in which she had said she couldn’t argue whether the people chose to boycott Georgia.

For over two weeks, Abrams’ softer, gentler column stayed on USA Today’s website with no indication to the reader that it had been altered. It was only when she was caught and rightly scorned that the newspaper added an editorial note confirming her changes and adding a link to the original article.

Yet for all the demagoguery and apocalyptic narrative, what was the end result?

The 2022 elections in Georgia broke records in several categories. Democracy has not died. Jim Crow 2.0, 3.0, Eagle, or as the left calls him today, was nowhere to be found.

The votes were cast safely and the results tabulated in a timely manner.

In a December 7, 2022 web post on the election results, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger concludes, quoting himself: “Georgia’s electoral system has been challenged and scrutinized and criticized and has passed every test. I will measure it against every other state in the Union in terms of voter-friendliness, accessibility, safety and accuracy, and believe that Georgia can be a model for the nation for future electoral reform.”

Yet despite these findings, the national media is still fully invested in their Jim Crow 2.0 Voter Suppression narrative, so much so that very real news about this narrative is fantastically underreported. And by underrated, I don’t mean that at all, outside of the National Review and the New York Post.

For all the clamor of activists, pundits, and, yes, even the President of the United States, the one voice that the national media never reported was that of the actual black voter in Georgia — the voter they all claimed to be fighting for .

Well, that voice has now spoken.

On Jan. 17, the Survey Research Center of the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs released the results of its 2022 Georgia by-election poll.

The questions are in quotation marks, followed by the results for voters who identify as Black.

“Wait time (in-person voter)”: 96% less than 30 minutes, 3.4 up to an hour and only 0.6% longer than an hour.

“Self-Reported Problem with Voting”: 99.5% No.

“Did you feel safe waiting to cast your vote at your polling station?” 99.4% Yes.

“On a personal level, how would you rate your overall experience of participating in this election?” Excellent 72.6%, Good 23.6%, Fair 3.3%, Poor 0, Don’t know 0.5.

Yes, you read it right. 96.2% of black voters surveyed reported an excellent to good voting experience, with zero encountering poor responses.

When asked by those who voted in the 2020 election whether they found it easier, harder or no different to vote in 2022, 72.5% experienced “no difference”, while 19.1% even found it “easier”.

That’s a total of 91.6% of Black voters who find it “easier” or “no different” to vote in 2022 compared to 2020.

So much for voter suppression.

But don’t expect national media mea culpas. The year 2024 is upon us, and our “guardians of democracy” have shown no desire to return to the boring old days of Edward R. Murrow with objective, factual reporting.