Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) defended the state’s election reform law in a pointed statement on Friday, accusing Democrats and their counterparts in the establishment media of repeating “partisan talking points” by proclaiming the measure restricts access to voting, deeming the narratives “lazy, biased, and political as they are demonstrably wrong.”
Several Democrats have categorized Georgia’s election integrity law, which Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed on Thursday, as a form of voter suppression. President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have all, in the past week, compared state election integrity efforts to the era of Jim Crow.
“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 in reaction to the steady stream of critiques.
“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,” he continued in the statement emailed to reporters.
A press release detailing Raffensperger’s statement specifically cited a New York Times report that “wrongly” reported the Peach State “passed a sweeping law to restrict voting access in the state.”
“CNN is breathlessly reporting on Georgia’s ‘new law suppressing voting access.’ Stacey Abrams is no doubt fund-raising off her absurd – and offensive – suggestion that this law is ‘Jim Crow 2.0,'” it continued.
“These narratives are as lazy, biased and political as they are demonstrably wrong,” Raffensperger said, addressing some of their specific arguments against basic election integrity measures, such as voter ID:
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.
Raffensperger identified himself as a conservative Republican but added he has made it abundantly clear he is willing to “take a political hit to treat everyone equally under the law and stand up for the rights of all Georgians” — a likely reference to controversies surrounding the highly contested 2020 presidential election.
“The national media loved what I was saying when it differed from the views of President Trump. I hope they’re as interested in my point of view now that it differs with Stacey Abrams,” he added.
Leftist groups filed a lawsuit following Kemp’s signing the bill into law, asserting the measure will make it “harder for lawful Georgia voters to participate in the State’s elections.”