Kemp, Raffensperger respond to criticism of new voting law

Gov. Brian Kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp(WALB)
Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 4:59 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WALB) - Georgia’s governor and the state’s top elections official are responding to criticism of a newly-signed elections law.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement in response to President Joe Biden’s remarks on the SB 202, which Kemp signed into law Thursday.

On Friday, Biden criticized the new voting law.

“This is Jim Crow in the 21st century,” the president said in a statement. “It must end. We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act.”

In a statement, Kemp said, “it is obvious that neither President Biden nor his handlers have actually read SB 202.”

“This bill expands voting access, streamlines vote-counting procedures, and ensures election integrity. There is nothing ‘Jim Crow’ about requiring a photo or state-issued ID to vote by absentee ballot — every Georgia voter must already do so when voting in-person,” Kemp said in a statement. “President Biden, the left, and the national media are determined to destroy the sanctity and security of the ballot box. As secretary of state, I consistently led the fight to protect Georgia elections against power-hungry, partisan activists. As governor, I won’t back down from keeping Georgia elections secure, accessible, and fair.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffenserger also responded to criticism of the bill.

“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 secretary of state said the law enacts new security measures, expands access to voting and builds upon improvements his office implemented in 2020.

Raffensperger said the following about the new law:

“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. 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.”

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