President Biden blasted a new legislation signed into law by Republicans in Georgia on Thursday. Biden called the bill “un-American” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
“Recount after recount and court case after court case upheld the integrity and outcome of a clearly free, fair, and secure democratic process,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. “This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end.”
“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,” the statement added.
Biden later called the law “an atrocity” while speaking to reporters.
“If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency — they passed a law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line while they’re waiting to vote,” Biden said before boarding Marine One, according to CNN.
Asked if there was anything the White House could do to protect voting rights in Georgia, Biden told reporters, “We’re working on that right now. We don’t know quite exactly what we can do at this point. The Justice Department’s taking a look as well.”
Meanwhile, Vice-President Kamala Harris called the bill “abusive”.
“I believe very strongly that Congress needs to pass the For People Act, and we need to restore the teeth, and the strength of the Voting Rights Act. And we need to also provide for what is necessary, clearly, when we see the kind of abusive practices that we’ve seen in the from the Georgia legislature, which is to intentionally, I believe, attempt to prevent whole populations of people from exercising their constitutional right to vote in their elections,” she said.
The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.
Kemp dismissed criticisms of the bill on Friday in a statement.
“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. As secretary of state, I consistently led the fight to protect Georgia elections against power-hungry, partisan activists.”