GOP Sen. Toomey: Biden Claim Election Integrity Laws Same as Jim Crow Is ‘False, Offensive’

Vintage Photo of Sign Enforcing Jim Crow Laws
Library of Congress

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) blasted President Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday as false and offensive for claiming that election integrity measures that have been passed in a number of Red States in 2021 are the same as Jim Crow laws first passed in the segregated South during the 1890s.

“This year alone, 17 states have enacted — not just proposed, but enacted — 28 new laws to make it harder for Americans to vote, not to mention — and catch this — nearly 400 additional bills Republican members of the state legislatures are trying to pass,” Biden said in his Philadelphia speech.

“The 21st century Jim Crow assault is real. It’s unrelenting, and we’re going to challenge it vigorously,” the president continued.

PBS’s American Experience reported:

The segregation and disenfranchisement laws known as ‘Jim Crow’ represented a formal, codified system of racial apartheid that dominated the American South for three quarters of a century beginning in the 1890s. The laws affected almost every aspect of daily life, mandating segregation of schools, parks, libraries, drinking fountains, restrooms, buses, trains, and restaurants.

Sen. Toomey took exception to Biden’s “Jim Crow” reference.

“Suggesting that election integrity measures such as voter ID and prohibitions on ballot harvesting are reminiscent of Jim Crow is false, offensive, and trivializes a dark period of actual systemic racism in parts of America,” Toomey said in a statement released by his office late Tuesday.

“President Biden knows that the state laws he has attacked are in many cases less restrictive than that of his own home state of Delaware,” Toomey continued.

When it comes to early in-person voting, “the [Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021] actually adds time to the window in which voters can cast their ballots early and in person,” the Washington Examiner reported:

Meanwhile, Biden’s home state of Delaware has no in-person early voting. The state Legislature passed reforms setting aside up to 10 days of early voting at some locations, but voters won’t enjoy that access until 2022, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Other blue states have far fewer opportunities for voters to cast their ballots early and in person than Georgia or Texas currently have. . .

And the legislation under consideration in the Texas Legislature would give voters ample time to get to the polls within that period — mandating that polls stay open for early voting 12 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Similarly, the new Georgia law provides for no-excuse absentee voting, while Delaware law does not.

The Georgia law also codifies a limited use of drop boxes for the receipt of mail-in absentee ballots in future elections, something that Delaware law does not allow for. Only eight other states currently have election laws that officially authorize the use of drop boxes.

With regards to Voter ID, Georgia is just one of 36 states that require identification from those who want to vote, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports.

Delaware is also one of those 36 states requiring voter identification.

“In the event the voter does not have proof of identity with them, he or she shall sign an affidavit of affirmation that he or she is the person listed on the election district record,” the National Conference of State Legislatures notes.

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