Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp laid into President Joe Biden for his opposition to Georgia’s new voting restrictions, calling his push to get the MLB All-Star Game out of Atlanta “ridiculous.”
After Biden called the new Georgia law 21st-century “Jim Crow,” Kemp defended the restrictions in a Fox News interview Thursday, pulling out a side-by-side chart comparing voting regulations in Georgia and Biden’s home state of Delaware.
“When the president of the United States says something, you know a lot of people pay attention. But what Joe Biden needs to do is look at the side-by-side of Georgia and Delaware,” Kemp said. "He’s focused on trying to get Major League Baseball to pull the game out of Georgia, which is ridiculous.”
Kemp then went on to compare the two states’ voting regulations, at times without crucial context.
Kemp first said that Delaware doesn’t have in-person early voting, but Georgia does. In 2019, Delaware enacted a law that established in-person early voting starting in 2022. The Georgia law did expand in-person weekend early voting.
Kemp then pointed out that Georgia has no-excuse absentee voting, while Delaware doesn’t. Kemp was correct on Delaware, but GOP lawmakers in Georgia did consider rolling back no-excuse absentee voting, but that ultimately didn’t make it into the law Kemp signed.
Kemp also claimed that Georgia allows drop boxes, while Delaware doesn’t. Georgia’s new law restricted drop boxes, requiring each county to have at least one but limiting any additional drop boxes based on the county’s population of registered voters. Delaware had drop boxes in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s unclear whether that will be the case in the future.
Georgia’s recently passed law will create a new ID requirement for voters wanting to cast their ballot absentee, shorten runoff length and effectively hand the election board to the Legislature, while limiting drop boxes. The changes come after Democrats won two key Senate runoff races in Georgia, giving Democrats control of the chamber.
GOP lawmakers in Georgia and elsewhere, especially backers of former President Donald Trump, have backed new voting restrictions in the name of "election integrity" despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Democrats have pushed back, calling the efforts “voter suppression,” with Biden among the voices not holding back in their opposition, with the president calling it an “atrocity” last week.
On Wednesday, Biden said he’d back moving MLB’s “Midsummer Classic” out of Atlanta due to the new law.
"I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly," Biden said in an interview with ESPN. "I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders."
In wake of the new law, Biden has pushed Congress to pass election reform legislation, namely H.R. 1, which would reform ballot access and campaign finance, as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore struck-down provisions of the Voting Rights Act. He’s also suggested he’s open to getting right of the filibuster for issues like voting rights.
Kemp has faced blowback from Biden and major Atlanta-based companies, including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola. Kemp said Thursday that he wouldn’t bow to the corporate pressure, saying that corporations that have opposed the new law won’t get back on board due to activist pressure.
“There is nothing I can do about that,” Kemp said. “I not going be bullied by these people. But I’m also not running a public corporation. They’ll have to answer to their shareholders. There is a lot of people that work for them and have done business with them that are very upset.”
Kemp has been all over the airwaves after signing the law last week, saying Thursday that he’s done more than 20 interviews in the past 24 to 36 hours, “pushing the truth out.”
"We … want to make sure the election is secure and that all Georgians have confidence in it," Kemp said.
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