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Biden attacks Georgia's new voting limits as 'an atrocity,' civil rights groups sue state

PoliticsMar 26, 2021 08:30PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Protest against House Bill 531 in Atlanta 2/2

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) -Georgia's sweeping new voting restrictions came under attack on Friday, with civil rights groups challenging them in court and President Joe Biden saying the U.S. Justice Department was examining what he called an "atrocity" of a law.

Among other limits, the Republican-backed law enacted on Thursday imposes stricter identification requirements, limits drop boxes, gives lawmakers the power to take over local elections and shortens the early voting period for all runoff elections. It also makes it a misdemeanor for people to offer food and water to voters https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2BH2TC in line, in a state where people sometimes wait for hours in the heat to vote.

The legislation has alarmed Democrats, who just months ago celebrated historic wins in the presidential election and two Senate campaigns in Georgia that helped deliver the White House and U.S. Senate control to their party in Washington.

Biden, the first Democratic presidential candidate in three decades to win Georgia, on Friday accused Republicans there and in other states of mounting a broad assault on voting rights.

"It's an atrocity," Biden told reporters, shortly after comparing the restrictions for a second straight day to racist "Jim Crow" laws, which were put in place in Southern states in the decades after the 1861-65 U.S. Civil War to legalize racial segregation and disenfranchise Black citizens.

Biden said it was unclear what, if anything, the White House could do to address the law but added that the Justice Department was "taking a look." He again urged Congress to pass Democratic-backed legislation that would require automatic registration, expand absentee voting and temper voter ID laws.

Thus far, Republican opposition in the U.S. Senate has stymied that effort.

A coalition of civil rights groups sued the state in Atlanta federal court just hours after Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed the legislation into law on Thursday, arguing that the measures are intended to make it harder for people – particularly Black voters – to cast ballots.

Marc Elias, a Democratic lawyer who spearheaded the party's election legal efforts last year, is representing the groups, which include The New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, Inc.

"These provisions lack any justification for their burdensome and discriminatory effects on voting," the lawsuit said.

Kemp issued a statement on Friday in response to Biden's comments, saying the law "ensures election integrity."

"There is nothing 'Jim Crow' about requiring a photo or state-issued ID to vote by absentee ballot – every Georgia voter must already do so when voting in-person," he said. "President Biden, the left, and the national media are determined to destroy the sanctity and security of the ballot box."

Other Republican-controlled state legislatures are pursuing voting restrictions in election battleground states, including Florida and Arizona, after former President Donald Trump repeatedly blamed his loss to Biden on massive voter fraud without evidence.

Democrats and voting rights advocates have said the restrictions, which passed the Georgia legislature solely with Republican support, will further harm voters in minority communities that are already plagued by long lines and inadequate election infrastructure.

As he contested his national loss to Biden, Trump focused much of his energy in Georgia. At one point, he personally called the state's Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, and urged him to "find" votes Trump claimed had gone missing.

That phone call is part of a criminal investigation by state prosecutors into whether Trump broke election laws by pressuring officials to alter the results.

In a statement on Friday, Trump applauded Georgia Republicans for their action.

"They learned from the travesty of the 2020 Presidential Election, which can never be allowed to happen again," he said.

Trump's false assertions about voter fraud have reinforced long-standing Republican warnings that stricter laws are needed, despite research showing that such cases are vanishingly rare.

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll in February, 62% of Republicans said they were "very concerned" that elections were tainted by ineligible people casting votes. Weeks before the election in October, 47% of Republicans expressed the same level of concern.

Biden attacks Georgia's new voting limits as 'an atrocity,' civil rights groups sue state
 

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Comments (22)
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Apr 03, 2021 2:47PM ET
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Did we forget that Biden tried to cheat in elections in his previous runs for President?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Mar 29, 2021 2:53AM ET
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democrats are fighting for the right to cheat
Cathy Bartlett
Cathy Bartlett Mar 28, 2021 8:42AM ET
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No more cheating and rigged elections. Should never have happened in the first place....
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 27, 2021 7:04AM ET
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Just letting orange idle worshippers know Biden won Georgia.
Red Riley
Red Riley Mar 27, 2021 12:27AM ET
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he is an atrocity
Russ Jabara
Russ Jabara Mar 27, 2021 12:23AM ET
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The atrocity of having to show your ID at the voting polls
Jose Soberanes
Jose Soberanes Mar 27, 2021 12:07AM ET
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Thr left has always been about being unlawful and seeing what they can get away with.. Evil side!
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 26, 2021 10:59PM ET
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So scared are the men who see their power slip away. So desparate they are becoming to hold onto whatever thread they can
John Raymond
John Raymond Mar 26, 2021 10:56PM ET
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prove yourself with id at the ballot box in person! anything else is subverting election integrity
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 26, 2021 10:56PM ET
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Grow up. You prove yourself when you register. And your beliefs means every election ever has been wrong
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 26, 2021 10:32PM ET
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Biden won georgia. How confused do you think those racist hateful white men are lol
Cathy Bartlett
Cathy Bartlett Mar 26, 2021 10:32PM ET
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Biden won Georgia? And I believe in the tooth fairy!! The only thing he can win is a rigged election and the whole world knows it!!! This whole rigged fiasco will be remedied in 2024!! Communism will be defeated!!!
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Mar 26, 2021 9:37PM ET
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Biden loves box loads of prefilled ballots in Atlanta state farm arena
Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa Mar 26, 2021 8:51PM ET
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It called a federal republic. It's in the US Constitution.
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Mar 26, 2021 6:28PM ET
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... well to ensure biden will be able to manipulate next voting for him win....
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Mar 26, 2021 5:07PM ET
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The irony is, you don't have to show your ID at the poll.  It is only for absenty voting.  But democrats are screaming that "blacks are not smart enough!"
Juan San
Juan San Mar 26, 2021 1:40PM ET
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Title correction: Democrats claim black people are too st.upid to be able to show ID when voting.
Juan San
Juan San Mar 26, 2021 1:38PM ET
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"At one point, [Trump] personally called the state's Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, and urged him to "find" votes Trump claimed had gone missing."... does the propagandist who wrote this article want to clarify that the news outlet that initially reported this story recently had to retract their story because it was found to be false after Georgia released the official tapes?
Juan San
Juan San Mar 26, 2021 1:35PM ET
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Love how even the left-wing propagandist who wrote this article cannot explain how the new laws are preferentially against black people. Democrats treat black people like dogs. Do democrats truly think black people are incapable of getting IDs? Reminds me of how biden and other leftists said black people had trouble getting the vaccine because they did not know how to use the internet and find vaccine sites. I know democrats need to commit their voter fraud, but stop using black people as patsies.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Mar 26, 2021 12:30PM ET
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if you like this new brand of bigotry and racism and want more, keep voting for this new party that supports authoritarianism and the destruction of our democracy the Trump new Republican party is for you.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Mar 26, 2021 12:10PM ET
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if TRump's new Republican party has its way Georgia is just the Beginning.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Mar 26, 2021 12:07PM ET
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never had a problem in the past where the rules where simple you went to the poling place where you voted showed a driver's license or utility bill they crossed your name in the voting book and you voted. the league of Women voters and poll volunteers where responsible for getting the voters in and out. in the States that were run by Conservatives. mostly in the South they had mostly disenfranchise people that weren't white. looks like the southern white conservatives are at it again. Now there taking there anti democraic bigotry and racism to the rest of the country with the New Republican party leading the charge and con man Trump as their cheer leader.
Cathy Bartlett
Cathy Bartlett Mar 26, 2021 12:07PM ET
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It's called rigged!! Cause leftist, sewer rat communists can't win without cheating!!
Joel Hauser
Joel Hauser Mar 26, 2021 11:36AM ET
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Love the work done by Stacey Abrams,a very brave woman who fought hard even when cons where mentally harassing her and spent millions of dollars on defaming the good name she earned.God Bless her.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Mar 26, 2021 11:36AM ET
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She is very hmmmmm not smart and very bad looking too.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Mar 26, 2021 11:36AM ET
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Is she still the imaginary governor of Georgia?
Brandon Wooton
Brandon Wooton Mar 26, 2021 11:30AM ET
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Voting is a right... to citizens. How does one prove citizenship, at the place where they are voting, and that they are only voting once... seems pretty cut and dried to me.
Cathy Bartlett
Cathy Bartlett Mar 26, 2021 11:30AM ET
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Indeed, let's make sure lawful citizens are voting and not non-citizens and illegals who shouldn't be voting in the first place! It's called native sovereignty on voting... Every country on earth does the same!! Why shouldn't we...
 
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