US President Joe Biden has lashed out at Republican politicians in the state of Georgia. The state passed a controversial electoral law this week that Democrats say is intended to discourage black voters from going to the polls.
Biden calls the law “anathema,” “un-American,” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” By the term ‘Jim Crow’, Biden refers to laws that maintained racial segregation in the southern states of the US until 1965.
Among other things, the new law imposes stricter identification requirements for postal voters and limits the number of drop-off points for postal votes. Voters standing in line for a polling station should no longer be provided with food or bottled water. It is not uncommon for voters to wait for hours before they can vote. This is mainly a problem in black neighborhoods because there are relatively fewer polling stations there.
As a result, black voters are being disproportionately hit by the law, opponents say. They believe that is precisely the intention of the Republicans. Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp contradicts that. He states that the law “ensures the integrity of the elections”.
President Biden called the water bottle rule “proof that this law has nothing to do with fairness.” According to Biden, the law is “nothing but a punishment designed to dissuade people from voting.”
In the last presidential election, Biden won a majority in Georgia. For the first time since 1992, the state’s electors therefore went to a Democrat. This was partly because the turnout among black voters was historically high. Both Senate seats in Georgia also went to a Democrat.
However, in the state congress, the Republicans have a majority, which allowed the bill to be passed. Biden announced that the Justice Department is reviewing the law, although it is unclear what legal leads, according to Biden, there are to change the law.