Republican governor countered ‘Jim Crow 2.0’ argument as ‘blatant misinformation’
Experts described it as an “important admission” by Republican Brian Kemp in an interview with WABE radio, after the governor signed sweeping ballot restrictions into law last week amid protests and outrage from across the US.
President Joe Biden condemned it as “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and a blatant attack on the constitution while critics say is designed to make it harder for Black Americans to vote.
Defending the bill in the new interview, Mr Kemp said that “a lot of this bill is dealing with the mechanics of the election. It has nothing to do with potential fraud or not”.
Georgia was at the centre of former president’s false voter fraud claims during the 2020 election. Mr Trump, who became the first Republican to lose the state in a presidential election since 1992, called on officials to investigate his claims that the election was stolen.
Three federal lawsuits have already been filed to challenge its constitutionality, and calls of boycotts of some of Atlanta’s largest companies have persisted in the wake of frustration those companies didn’t do more to protest the bill.
Mr Trump backed the law recently, saying it is “too bad” the law wasn’t implemented sooner and suggested that the loss he suffered in the state “can never be allowed to happen again.”
Georgia’s governor backed the law saying it “expands access” as he tried to counter the arguments by Democrats that the bill is designed to suppress votes.
“I think when people get educated on the bill and are not subjected to people misleading them on the other side about what this bill actually does, I think they’ll have good understanding of why the General Assembly took the actions that they did,” he said.
“I’ve heard a lot of the Democrats say this year the elections have consequences. And they certainly do,” Mr Kemp said referring to Republican’s control over state government due to down-ballot 2020 victories.
Marc Elias, an attorney specialising in election law, voting rights and redistricting, called it an “important admission” by Mr Kemp over his claims that the law would deal with “mechanics of the election”.
“I suspect you will be seeing that quoted as the lawsuits proceed forward,’ Mr Elias said in a tweet.
Mr Kemp signed the voting reform bill less than two hours after it cleared the Georgia General Assembly last Thursday.