A new electoral law in Georgia makes it illegal to give water and food to people faced with a choice.
Allegations of voter suppression surfaced in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election, with long lines going viral on social media.
The electoral integrity law of 2021, a new electoral law in the state, has met with a lot of criticism for new regulations that could deprive voters of the right to vote. A prominent claim is that the law criminalizes the provision of food or water to voters waiting in line for elections.
Is it illegal to give water to voters in Georgia who are standing in line?
Yes sir. Under the new legislation, it is illegal for anyone but election workers to provide food or water to voters in queue for elections. According to Eric Segall, Ashe Family Chair Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law, that means not even friends and family can bring snacks to voters.
WHY DO WE CHECK:
Activists and other public figures have said that this aspect of the law could discourage people from voting.
WHAT WE FOUND:
The law states: “No person may solicit votes in any way, means, or method …
The only other state that prohibits the delivery of food and drink in any form during an election is Montana, especially if it is a candidate, political party employee, or volunteer, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. So far there are no such laws in any other federal state.
But in Georgia, says Eric Segall, even friends or family can’t bring them a snack if they wait in a long line.
“It’s illegal in Georgia now,” he said.
The new legislation states that election workers will be the only ones authorized to provide food and water to voters. Violation of this law is now punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of $ 1,000.
“This ban is part of a series of different bans that make it difficult to politicize at the polls,” said Segall.
But Segall says that this law is very unlikely to be enforced.
So we can check if this is true: Under the Electoral Integrity Act of 2021, it is illegal to give food or water to anyone waiting in line in Georgia unless you are an election worker. It is uncertain whether someone will enforce the new rule by approximating prison sentences or fines.