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Joe Biden lit into Republicans who are working on a raft of bills to make voting more onerous for people in their states.
“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick,” the president said on Thursday at his first formal press conference since taking office 64 days ago.
“Deciding, in some states, that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote? Deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work? Deciding that there will be no absentee ballots except under the most rigid circumstances?” Mr Biden said, rattling off a number of proposals from GOP state leaders that would limit voting options for people.
Citing the threat of widespread voter fraud, Republicans have offered hundreds of bills since the 2020 election to restrict voting hours, roll back early in-person and absentee voting, eliminate certain mail-in voting opportunities, and limit the number of dropboxes throughout jurisdictions for people to turn in their ballots, among many others.
State election officials from 2020 as well as the Justice Department and FBI have all said there was no evidence of significant election fraud last November. And many of the bills offered by Republican state politicians to curtail voting opportunities — cutting down on early voting hours and limiting locations to turn in ballots, for instance — do not appear to do anything to combat election fraud.
“Republican voters I know find this despicable. Republican voters — folks outside this White House. I’m not talking about the elected officials, I’m talking about voters, voters,” Mr Biden said on Thursday.