Jim Crow lives and resides in Georgia after Governor Brian Kemp rushed Thursday night to sign a major, Republican-sponsored revision of state election laws that includes new election restrictions and gives lawmakers – not the elected Secretary of State – control of the law how elections are conducted.
Kemp and his GOP guy call the new law “reform”. Democrats call it “Jim Crow 2.0”.
It did so after Joe Biden won the state’s presidential election by 11,779 votes and Georgia voters sent two Democrats to the US Senate – John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Republicans who drafted the 95-page bill said the legislation addresses issues with the electoral process. Never mind that the so-called “problems” of fraud or irregularities were fully exposed after the elections in Georgia were the most scrutinized, told, and scrutinized in the nation.
The new law introduces a new photo identification requirement for postal ballot papers instead of the traditional signature conformance guidelines. It restricts the opening times and locations of postal voting boxes. It makes it illegal for citizens to distribute food or drink to voters waiting in long lines at polling stations. The Georgian election administrators have to keep counting the ballot papers to the end without interruption. It halves Georgia’s runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks and bans “souls to vote” operations for runoff elections.
The most threatening provision, however, is one that allows the State Election Board to intervene in the county’s election management. The new law deprives the nationally elected Georgian Foreign Minister of his role as chairman of this state election committee and replaces him with someone chosen by the Georgian General Assembly.
If you do not understand what is threatening about that, we would like to remind you of the repeated requests made by former President Donald Trump to Georgia election officials, Governor Kemp, and officials in other states where he has lost, meddling, and voting up to change. In a taped call in Georgia, Trump even asked electoral officials there to “find me votes.” The lost Trump even had a specific number: “I only want to find 11,780 votes, one more than us.”
Georgia’s new law is also ominous because the legislation is just one of many GOP-backed electoral laws introduced in states across the country after Trump and his GOP henchmen fueled false claims that fraud led to his defeat in 2020 have.
We can now rely on any state followed by a GOP-controlled legislature. We’re sad Georgia was the first.
Biden called these actions by the GOP state “un-American” and “sick” in his first press conference as president on Tuesday.
“In some states you decide you can’t bring water to people who are waiting in line to vote. You decide to end the vote at five o’clock when the working people are just leaving. You decide that there will be no absence. ” Ballot under the strictest of circumstances. Republican voters I know find this despicable. That makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. “
Free suffrage should not be a partisan issue. We should all strive to support the right to vote. Period.
However, maybe something good will come out of the earthquake of the new Georgian law. Maybe it could be if anything can create an approval structure for Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – two who thought the idea of scrapping the filibuster was cool. You can say, “I didn’t mean to do this, but …”
Aren’t such new Jim Crow state laws just surrendering voters to GOP politics? And isn’t the vote negated by someone who throws away the keys to true democracy?
Increasingly, it seems like nothing less than federal legislation to put guard rails in place for all elections to remedy this.
With this type of legislation (there is a bill called the We the People Act), Congress could set national voting standards for federal elections – standards for all states to do early voting, mail-in voting, automatic voter registration, or impartial Congressional district maps – drawing.
It is widely believed that We the People legislation cannot be passed without at least reforming, if not eliminating, the filibuster.
One of the most revealing moments of Biden’s press conference came when he was asked if he would agree with former President Barack Obama’s recent testimony that the Senate filibuster was a relic of the Jim Crow era. Biden said he did and was immediately presented with a follow-up question: “Why not get rid of it if it’s a relic of the Jim Crow era?”
The president, who had previously discussed reforming two decades of filibuster abuse by requiring anyone who appeals to stand and talk constantly, paused for a long time.
“Successful politics is the art of the possible,” he said finally. “Let’s deal with the abuse first.”
That’s not a bad look for a president who has one of the most ambitious agendas of an American leader in the last half century: pandemic, economy, climate, infrastructure, immigration, voting rights.
We’re not convinced he’s right, but he sounds like a man who knows where he’s going and how to get there. So did the Georgia voters on November 3rd.
No wonder the GOP is scared.