Biden Calls New GA Voting Law ‘Jim Crow in the 21st Century’

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the government's pandemic response, including the recently announced partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to produce more Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at th... US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the government's pandemic response, including the recently announced partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to produce more Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at the White House in Washington, DC on March 2, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 26, 2021 3:15 p.m.

President Joe Biden put out a blistering statement criticizing Georgia’s new overhaul of its election rules, accusing Republican state lawmakers of rushing “through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote.”

Biden’s statement called out the legislation’s provisions heightening ID requirements for absentee voting, its mandates that will reduce early in-person voting in some places and its ban on distributing food and most beverages to voters waiting in line.

“This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end,” Biden said. He called on Congress to pass the For the People Act — which would create national ballot access mandates that would override some of the restriction in the new law — as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore the provision of the Voting Rights Act that previously required Georgia to get federal approval for election rule changes.

Both bills are unlikely to be passed in the Senate as long as the filibuster rules remain in place.

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“I will take my case to the American people – including Republicans who joined the broadest coalition of voters ever in this past election to put country before party,” Biden said. “If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.”

Read the full statement below:

Statement by President Biden on the Attack on the Right to Vote in Georgia
More Americans voted in the 2020 elections than any election in our nation’s history. In Georgia we saw this most historic demonstration of the power of the vote twice – in November and then again in the runoff election for the U.S. Senate seats in January. Recount after recount and court case after court case upheld the integrity and outcome of a clearly free, fair, and secure democratic process.

Yet instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote. This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience. Among the outrageous parts of this new state law, it ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over. It adds rigid restrictions on casting absentee ballots that will effectively deny the right to vote to countless voters. And it makes it a crime to provide water to voters while they wait in line – lines Republican officials themselves have created by reducing the number of polling sites across the state, disproportionately in Black neighborhoods.

This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end. We have a moral and Constitutional obligation to act. I once again urge Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to make it easier for all eligible Americans access the ballot box and prevent attacks on the sacred right to vote.

And I will take my case to the American people – including Republicans who joined the broadest coalition of voters ever in this past election to put country before party.

If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.

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