"What I'm anxious about is how un-American this whole initiative is", he said in the news conference.
The Republican changes to voting law in Georgia follow record-breaking turnout for Democratic victories in the presidential contest and two U.S. Senate runoffs in the once reliably red state.
"This is extraordinarily unsafe", Sara Tindall Ghazal, the former election protection director of the Georgia Democratic Party, told Mother Jones on Thursday. "202 to ensure elections in Georgia are secure, fair and accessible", Kemp wrote on Twitter after the signing. The state House approved it 100-75, before the state Senate quickly agreed to House changes, 34-20.
Distinguishing GOP voters from their party's elected officials, Biden said the Republican voters whom he knows "find this despicable", even if political leaders don't, calling the efforts "un-American" and "sick". "And if we have to - if there's complete lockdown and chaos as a effect of the filibuster - then we'll have to go beyond what I'm talking about". "I'm talking about voters".
Then in January, Democrats took control of the US Senate when Georgia Republicans lost two run-off races. During his press conference Thursday, President Biden said the new law "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle".
As Kemp delivered his remarks he was interrupted by a commotion before a livestream of the event cut out. John Ossoff, D-Ga., tweeted support for Cannon, saying, "I stand with Rep. Park Cannon. who was arrested and CHARGED WITH A FELONY for. for what?" She says "where are you taking me?" and "stop" as she is taken from the building. She was being held at the Fulton County jail, said an email from a Georgia State Patrol spokesperson, Lieut.
Videos on social media showed Cannon knocking persistently but calmly, and an activist who filmed the incident told The Washington Post that the lawmaker was in no way "banging on the door".
Previous plans to require an excuse to vote by mail, as well as restrict weekend voting hours primarily used in larger Democratic-leaning counties were scrapped amidst mounting opposition from voting rights groups, Democrats and county elections supervisors. They should be able to use absentee ballots.
The text of the new law says that looser voting practices during the pandemic gave rise to a barrage of fraud claims leading in turn to "a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems".
"I think he has to do more, and do everything within his power", said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda. That has raised alarms about potential greater partisan influence.
Republican Rep. Barry Fleming, a driving force in crafting the law, said that provision would only be a "temporary fix, so to speak, that ends and the control is turned back over to the locals after the problems are resolved". It instead mandates two Saturdays of early voting ahead of general elections, when only one had been mandatory, and leaves two Sundays as optional.
Existing Georgia law already prohibits gifting or receiving gifts "for the goal of registering as a voter, voting, or voting for a particular candidate". There was no immediate response from Georgia officials. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.