Joe Biden assails 'outrageous' Georgia voting law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed a series of sweeping election rule changes including imposing voter ID requirements and limiting ballot drop boxes into law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed a series of sweeping election rule changes including imposing voter ID requirements and limiting ballot drop boxes into law

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 meant to make it harder for people - particularly Black voters - to cast ballots. During his press conference Thursday, President Biden said the new law "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle".

Illustrative: A voter marks her ballot during the U.S. presidential election in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Nov. 3, 2020.

Many of the Republican proposals are rooted in baseless claims that the 2020 election was marred by fraud, a lie pushed by former President Trump to explain his loss to Biden.

Then in January, Democrats took control of the US Senate when Georgia Republicans lost two run-off races.

But Harrison also acknowledged that the filibuster was an "an obstacle" for the national Democrats' efforts to overturn the Republican-backed changes.

Lawmakers in Georgia moved to make big changes to the state's electoral process in an effort to secure integrity for future elections.

Brian Kemp signed a sweeping election reform bill into law Thursday. She and others held a two-hour sit-in on a Capitol stairway after Cannon said it was improper that a police officer led her away while Democrats were protesting voting bills.

"I stand with Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon (@Cannonfor58), who was arrested and CHARGED WITH A FELONY for. for what?" Sen.

Biden has pledged to get involved in state-level battles over voting rights.

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The law against disrupting a legislative meeting was challenged as unconstitutional in a lawsuit filed previous year after people including Nikema Williams, then a state senator and now a US representative, were arrested at the Capitol while protesting election results in 2018.

"She was advised that she was disturbing what was going on inside and if she did not stop, she would be placed under arrest", the statement said. "For *knocking on Gov. Kemp's office door* as she tried to observe the cowardly closed-door signing ceremony for the voter suppression law". "Both sides of the political spectrum have been clamoring for changes to Georgia election laws for a while, and this bill is not a "knee-jerk" reaction to the November election".

Democrats in the state and on the national scene decry it as a naked abuse of power that aims to limit minority and young voters' access to the ballot.

Psaki said the president's view was that "it should not be harder, it should be easier to vote".

Much of the work administering elections in Georgia is handled by the state's 159 counties.

Tom Smiley, Hall County elections board chair, said the Hall board will adjust to new elections laws and ensure a "fair and secure" voting process on the local front.

Like other critics, Biden took particular aim at a provision that forbids people from providing drinks or food, including water, to voters waiting in line at the polls - arguing that it was Republicans themselves who created those lines by cutting the number of polling sites, especially in majority Black communities.

The new law shortens the time for runoffs from nine weeks to four, with lawmakers saying the current span is "exhausting" and needs to be shortened to a "more manageable period". Democrats say that is in an attempt to suppress votes after an energised voter base in Georgia sent two Democrats to the US Senate this year.

Republican Governor Brian Kemp signs a voting law that activists have said will curtail the influence of Black voters, in this handout photo posted to Kemp's Twitter feed on March 25, 2021. There are now 253 similar bills in 43 states, according to the left-leaning Brennan Center for Justice think tank. It might amount to voter suppression if the bill stipulated that the water rule applies only to certain neighborhoods or districts, but the bill doesn't say that. The House has passed the bill and now it awaits action in the Senate, where the party's margin over Republicans is too slim to guarantee passage.

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