The White House argued Tuesday that high turnout and voter suppression can occur at the same time, defending President Joe Biden’s criticism of Georgia’s election law.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the record turnout of early voters in Georgia, a state president, Joe Biden, claimed to have a style voting system ” Jim Crow”.
“High turnout and voter suppression can happen at the same time,” she said at her press conference.
She pointed out that President Biden was referring to the slew of election laws passed after Donald Trump’s false claim that he was the real winner of the 2020 presidential election and was the victim of voter fraud.
Republican-controlled states passed tougher voting measures following this election. Many states have expanded mail-in and absentee voting in 2020 due to the covid pandemic.
In 2022, at least seven states have enacted 10 laws that make it harder to vote — of those, five laws in five states are in place for midterms, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
“The president has been very clear that based on The Big Lie, there have been a slew of anti-election policies for certain states that challenge Americans’ basic right to vote,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s against our most fundamental values.”
“Of course, high turnout and voter suppression can take place at the same time,” she added. ‘You don’t have to come alone. It can happen at the same time.
She declined to go into more specific details, citing the Hatch Act, a federal law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in political activity on the job.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Georgia’s record early voter turnout, a state president Joe Biden claimed he had a ‘Jim’-style election law Crow”: “High turnout and voter suppression can take place at the same time. time, she said
Citizens voted for the November midterm elections at early voting locations in Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia, this week
In March 2021, Biden called Georgia’s recently enacted election law “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and “an atrocity.”
Biden won Georgia in 2020 and Trump is under investigation in the state for allegations he and his allies pressured state officials to overturn the results of the presidential race .
New Georgia law imposes new voter ID requirements for mail-in ballots, limits use of ballot boxes, makes it a crime to approach voters online to give them food and water and gives state officials more power over local elections.
It is indeed for the election of November 8 which will decide the control of the Congress. The state will also select a new governor on that date.
As of Sunday, about 838,000 Georgians had voted, most in person at advance polling sites, the rest returning mail-in ballots.
That’s almost 60% more than the total early votes at this point in 2018, the last midterm election.
More than 10% of registered voters in Georgia have already voted, a share that trails only Massachusetts and Vermont, where 22% and 16% of voters have cast ballots, according to an Associated Press analysis of the data. collected by Professor Michael of the University of Florida. Mcdonalds.
California and Florida have each accepted more than a million mail-in ballots so far. And the numbers nationwide are expected to accelerate this week as more states open in-person polling places early or mail ballots to voters.
“We’re seeing a very significant number of people voting early, so at this point we should see the turnout crater before Election Day for the trajectory that we’re about to change,” McDonald said.
Georgia enacted a new voting law after the 2020 election, President Joe Biden called it a ‘Jim Crow’ style law
Young people walk past a voting information board on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia
Republicans seized on Georgia’s numbers to justify their 2021 rewrite of the state’s election law.
They hope to re-elect Gov. Brian Kemp, who narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018, and bolster Herschel Walker over Raphael Warnock, the Democrat who won a Senate runoff in January 2021.
Turnout is at an all-time high, said Kemp campaign spokeswoman Tate Mitchell, “as Stacey Abrams continues to propagate the myth of voter suppression.”
Abrams pushes back on that taunt, though she too celebrates the high early turnout.
“More people in the water doesn’t mean there are fewer sharks,” Abrams said Monday.
“It is wrong to suggest that there is a correlation between voter turnout and voter suppression because suppression is about barriers,” Abrams said. “If these barriers are not completely successful, the credit does not go to those who erected them. Credit goes to the voters who found a way to navigate, overwhelm and overcome these obstacles.
The early voter turnout spike coincides with Abrams encouraging his supporters to vote in person and not use mail-in ballots. She heavily promoted mailings in her loss to Kemp four years ago — much like Democrats elsewhere to their advantage in the 2020 pandemic election.
However, Georgia’s 2021 election law added identification requirements to the mail-in ballot process and significantly reduced the number of drop boxes used in the 2020 cycle in urban counties, which lean heavily toward Democrats.
The law also made it easier for anyone to challenge a voter’s eligibility and reduced opportunities to vote provisionally if a voter shows up at the wrong polling station on election day.
Republicans hope to re-elect Gov. Brian Kemp, who narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018, Abrams is challenging him again this year
The Abrams campaign says more than 90,000 voters had their eligibility challenged, mostly by conservative groups, though a large proportion of those challenges were dismissed.
Kemp beat Abrams by about 55,000 votes four years ago. President Biden won Georgia’s electoral votes by about 11,500 votes in 2020, and Warnock won his Senate runoff by about 95,000.
Given changes to election law, Democrats are pushing supporters to vote as soon as possible during the first in-person voting window, which began Oct. 17 and runs through Nov. 4, four days before the day. of the ballot.
The idea is that if committed Democrats vote early, the party will be able to focus on others and reduce crowds in the final week of early voting.
Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ campaign manager, said Monday that “this strong turnout in the first week has been a key part of our strategy,” and the campaign doesn’t believe the vote will drop.
Abrams’ strategy since the start of his first gubernatorial bid four years ago has been to broaden the electorate by coaxing sporadic voters, especially among the younger generations and non-whites of all ages. She is black, Kemp is white.
Groh-Wargo said 16% of early voters so far, including by mail and in person, did not vote in Georgia in 2018, according to campaign analysis. Additionally, she said about 55,000 of the former did not vote in 2020, when the Democrats won.
These trends, she said, suggest the strategy is working, at least in the early days of early voting. But Kemp has led in nearly every public poll, and his campaign continues to try to reach beyond Republican supporters to win over independents and some black voters.
“We are confident that Governor Kemp’s success and vision for the future will continue to win over voters across the Peach State,” Mitchell said.
The Abrams campaign has touted high black turnout so far, with about 35.5% of early votes coming from black voters. In 2020, when Biden won, it was 33% after a week of early voting. In 2018, when Abrams lost, it was 31%.
Groh-Wargo also highlighted black men, saying campaign analysis shows about 97,000 black men have already voted; it was around 45,000 at this point during Abrams’ losing effort. Abrams, who would be the first black female governor in the United States, focused more openly on reaching black men during her second campaign.
The Georgian electorate is yet to reflect an increase in women’s turnout, even as Democrats insist the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade of 1973 that legalized abortion will influence women nationwide.
The data shows that early voting so far is 54.5% women, which is about the average for Georgia’s general election. It should be noted, however, that the applicants for the postal vote are 59% women and that most of them have not yet been returned. The electorate could therefore still be more female than usual.