Secretary of state defends state election reform

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The Albany Herald, Ga.
·2 min read
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Mar. 28—ATLANTA — Democrats and national media outlets asserting that Georgia's election reform will "restrict access" to voting are spouting partisan talking points, not facts, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law Thursday.

"The cries of 'voter suppression' from those on the left ring as hollow as the continuously debunked claims of 'mass voter fraud' in Georgia's 2020 election," Raffensperger said. "We don't have systemic voter suppression, and we don't have mass voter fraud. What we have is systemic lies for political gain that have led to a loss of public confidence in our elections."

The New York Times wrongly reported Thursday that Georgia "passed a sweeping law to restrict voting access in the state," Raffensperger said. CNN is reporting on Georgia's "new law suppressing voting access." Stacey Abrams is no doubt fundraising off her absurd — and offensive — suggestion that this law is "Jim Crow 2.0."

"These narratives are as lazy, biased and political as they are demonstrably wrong," Raffensperger said.

Georgia's new law enacts new security measures, expands access to voting and builds upon improvements that the secretary of state's office implemented in 2020.

"There's no rational argument against requiring state ID — provided for free to those who don't have a driver's license — for absentee ballots," Raffensperger said. "I implemented our first version of that last year; every absentee ballot request that came in through the state website was cross-referenced with the driver's license database and other records. This also requires counties to offer more weekend voting and puts drop boxes into law for the first time — the State Board of Elections adopted them as an emergency measure last year in response to the pandemic. Absentee ballot drop boxes would have gone away without direct action by the General Assembly.

"The left said that photo ID for in-person voting would suppress votes. It didn't. Registration and turnout soared, hitting new records with each election cycle. Their cataclysmic predictions about the effects of this law are simply baseless. The next election will prove that, but I won't hold my breath waiting for the left and the media to admit they were wrong.

"I'm a conservative Republican, but I've proven I'll take a political hit to treat everyone equally under the law and stand up for the rights of all Georgians. The national media loved what I was saying when it differed from the views of President Trump. I hope they're as interested in my point of view now that it differs with Stacey Abrams'."