Joe Biden Botches the Georgia Voting Law


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  3 weeks ago  •  18 comments

By:   Dan McLaughlin (MSN)

Joe Biden Botches the Georgia Voting Law
His claim that the law prohibits giving water to voters standing on line is way off base.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Joe Biden, grasping the latest left-wing talking point pushed by Stacey Abrams and her media allies everywhere, has launched a misleading attack on Georgia Senate Bill 202, which Governor Brian Kemp just signed into law.

© Joshua Roberts/Reuters President Joe Biden talks to reporters as he arrives at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Del., March 26, 2021.

Here's what Biden had to say:

It's an atrocity. The idea, you want any indication, it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency. They pass a law saying you can't provide water for people standing in line, while they're waiting to vote. You don't need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can't provide water for people about to vote? Give me a break.

Biden bashes the new Georgia voting law, calling it an "atrocity."

"They pass a law saying you can't provide water for people standing in line … This is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting."

— The Recount (@therecount) March 26, 2021

Let's take a look at what S.B. 202 actually says:

No person shall solicit votes [or] distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to [a voter] … This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer…from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to [a voter] waiting in line to vote.

The parts in bold are what S.B. 202 added to the statute. The prohibition applies inside polling places, within 150 feet of a polling place, or "within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place."

Now, first of all, notice what is not prohibited here. Voters can still bring bottled water or other food or beverages with them to stand on line to vote, as people often do when waiting at Disney World or to buy concert tickets or in other public places where people stand on long lines. Voters can still also, if they like, order food; the bill doesn't stop the Domino's Pizza man or the local hot dog cart or taco truck from doing business. And if you feel impelled to donate food and drink to voters, you can still do that, too; you just have to give it to the poll workers so they can put it out for general use. The president's claim that "You can't provide water for people about to vote" is just false. What you cannot do under the new Georgia law is deploy people in National Rifle Association t-shirts and MAGA hats to hand out free Koch-brothers-financed, Federalist Society-branded pizza to voters.

In other words, this entire controversy is not about people dropping dead of hunger and thirst on long voting lines at all. It's about electioneering around the polling place by people looking to advertise that they represent a cause, and who try to influence voters by giving them free stuff. Across the country today, we already have lots of laws against this sort of thing. There is nothing wrong with Georgia trying to limit it.

While state laws vary, many other states have electioneering bans that prevent people from giving gifts to voters, approaching voters on line or in the process of voting, or wearing or displaying political messages around the polling place. Minnesota law has a broad ban on approaching voters:

No one except an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote or an individual who is conducting exit polling shall stand within 100 feet of the building in which a polling place is located. Minn. Stat. § 204C.06

In 2018, a 7-2 Supreme Court in Minn. Voters Alliance v. Mansky upheld Minnesota's ban on voters wearing any sort of political badge, button, or insignia inside a polling place. Chief Justice Roberts, noting that the majority of states had some restrictions on campaign-related clothing and accessories at the polls, explained:

We see no basis for rejecting Minnesota's determination that some forms of advocacy should be excluded from the polling place, to set it aside as an island of calm in which voters can peacefully contemplate their choices. . . . Casting a vote is a weighty civic act, akin to a jury's return of a verdict, or a representative's vote on a piece of legislation. It is a time for choosing, not campaigning. The State may reasonably decide that the interior of the polling place should reflect that distinction.

Montana's law aims directly at campaigns handing out food, drink, or tobacco:

On election day, a candidate, a family member of a candidate, or a worker or volunteer for the candidate's campaign may not distribute alcohol, tobacco, food, drink, or anything of value to a voter within a polling place or a building in which an election is being held or within 100 feet of an entrance to the building in which the polling place is located. § 13-35-211, MCA

New York makes "Furnishing money or entertainment to induce attendance at polls" a class A misdemeanor, and explicitly includes handing out "meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision" if it is worth more than a dollar and the person providing it is not identified:

Any person who…in respect of any election during the hours of voting…gives or provides, or causes to be given or provided, or shall pay, wholly or in part, for any meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision to or for any person, other than [poll workers and other voting officials], except any such meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision having a retail value of less than one dollar, which is given or provided to any person in a polling place without any identification of the person or entity supplying such provisions, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Elec. Law § 17-140

Biden's own home state of Delaware bans giving gifts or rewards to voters in presidential primary elections:

Whoever…pays, transfers or delivers, or offers…any money, or other valuable thing as a compensation, inducement or reward for the giving or withholding or in any manner influencing the giving or withholding a vote…shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned not less than 1 month nor more than 3 years, or both. 15 Del. C. § 3167

Laws of these sorts have been the product of experience. In 1998, the Supreme Court of Kentucky, in Ellis v. Meeks, threw out the results of a primary election where the winner, Meeks (who prevailed by eight votes) had handed out free food at the polling place, and made it available to voters. The court rejected the argument that this was all harmless because there was no direct evidence that he had changed any votes or had demanded any explicit quid pro quo from voters:

At ten of the fifteen voting stations in the 11th Ward, Meeks made free food available to anyone present, glad-handed voters as they entered, and spoke with voters as they signed in to vote. Based upon this evidence, we… hold that Meeks' non-verbal conduct solicited votes and amounted to electioneering within 500 feet of a building where votes were being cast…We can conceive of no other explanation for his actions…. We find that making free food available to precinct workers and voters was an item of value offered by Meeks in exchange for their votes or moral support in violation of [Kentucky law].

Georgia's law follows the same line of reasoning: The obvious motive of showing up to hand things directly to voters, rather than just providing them to poll workers to distribute, is to influence their votes.

Once upon a time, American elections were different; we had no secret ballot, and openly bribing voters was considered a standard part of democracy. George Washington famously handed out whiskey on voting day when he ran for the House of Burgesses, and so did most everybody else in his era. But our laws have cracked down on those tactics for a reason.

Is there a problem with voters standing on long lines to vote? Yes, there is, and it tends to fall more heavily on black voters. But unfortunately, in states such as Georgia, the problem of long lines is largely under the control of local Democratic officials rather than the Republicans who run the state, who nonetheless get all the blame from the national media.

While you would not learn this from the Democrats or their sympathetic media coverage, S.B. 202 actually takes steps to fix those long lines. Georgia law previously allowed the state to override local election officials and require them to add more precincts or voting machines if people were left standing on line for an hour after the polls closed. S.B. 202 expands that authority, so that the state can step in and require more polling places or voting machines if voters in overcrowded precincts face lines of an hour or more at any of three measured intervals during the day. Read the new section for yourself:

If, at the previous general election, a precinct contained more than 2,000 electors and if electors desiring to vote on the day of the election had to wait in line for more than one hour before checking in to vote, the superintendent shall either reduce the size of such precinct so that it shall contain not more than 2,000 electors…or provide additional voting equipment or poll workers, or both, before the next general election….The chief manager of a precinct which contained more than 2,000 electors at the previous general election shall submit a report thereof to the superintendent of the reported time from entering the line to checking in to vote. Such wait time shall be measured no fewer than three different times throughout the day (in the morning, at midday, and prior to the close of polls) and such results shall be recorded on a form provided by the Secretary of State.

This is the right direction: Instead of allowing electioneering while people wait on long lines, eliminate both the electioneering and the lines. That's what Joe Biden's ranting is supposed to distract you from hearing.


jrDiscussion - desc
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    3 weeks ago

Take a rational look at what the law actually does and says.

No hyperbole needed.

People in line can still get water or food.


All that angst appears to be for naught.

dennis smith
Senior Silent
1.1  dennis smith  replied to  Texan1211 @1    3 weeks ago

The spin will not stop because of what this law states.

PhD Principal
2  JBB    3 weeks ago

Between voter suppression and false claims of fraud.

Is it any wonder that the once Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln is now known merely as the gop?

PhD Expert
2.1  Tacos!  replied to  JBB @2    3 weeks ago
voter suppression

Which votes specifically would you say will be suppressed by the food and water clause?

PhD Principal
2.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @2.1    3 weeks ago

No one ever really seems to be able to answer that question no matter how many times it is asked. 

I always like to ask what specifically one group must do to vote that others don't have to.

Stumps them EVERY time!

PhD Expert
2.1.2  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

Apparently Democrats in Georgia think brown people get thirsty easier than white people - especially Republicans. And these dark, chronically dehydrated people don’t have the stamina that white Republicans have to stand in line, nor do they have the resources and ingenuity required to feed or water their own bodies. 

Can you imagine being that helpless?

Masters Participates
2.1.3  r.t..b...  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

That could be the single most condescending thought ever posted used to be so much better. 


PhD Principal
2.1.4  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

I find it odd that liberals can never explain WHO is being suppressed, or how.

I could never be that helpless--I know how to carry a bottle of water with me.

I also know how to vote so I don't face long lines.

PhD Expert
2.1.5  Tacos!  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

Hey, I can’t help it if some Democrats tend to be condescending to people of color. I’m here to shine a light on it and condemn it. 

The people of color I call “friend” are offended at the notion that they can’t get ID or handle heat in the same way that white people can.

PhD Principal
2.1.6  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
That could be the single most condescending thought ever posted used to be so much better. 

Nothing condescending about it--just the usual misperception by the reader.

Typical and expected by now, of course.

BTW, way to really not answer the questions!


Freshman Guide
2.1.7  Thomas  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

As long as there are polling places equally distributed throughout all districts/precincts or what ever, such that voting can be accomplished in one hour, I see no problem.  None of this walk in the door vote, walk out the door for some folk and standing in line for hours for other people. Everyone has a guaranteed one hour maximum for the act of voting. This provision must be in the law or it is unjust and unfair, 

PhD Expert
2.1.8  Tacos!  replied to  Thomas @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

I think reforming the system as you described is a far more real and necessary concern.

PhD Principal
2.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @2    3 weeks ago

I wish a Democrat could explain how voters are suppressed by this new law.

Every time they are asked, they manage to clam up!

BTW, is it any wonder that the once-great Jim Crow party is now known merely as the democratic party?

PhD Expert
3  Tacos!    3 weeks ago

Let’s be honest - we know how tricksy political people can be. You really think some political booster isn’t handing out water, while saying, “I can’t wait to get in there and vote for [insert name of Democratic candidate].”

And then here comes the election official to check out the shenanigans.

”What are you doing with the voters over there?”

Tricksy booster replies, “Oh nothing, sir. I’m just handing out water. It’s powerful hot ya know!”

Senior Quiet
4  Ronin2    3 weeks ago

Why tell a little lie; when a big one repeated often enough will be far more effective?

Democrats have to be the biggest hypocrites in the world after railing against Trump lies. Biden tells several unmitigated whoppers in a couple of days and the left cheer him for it.

PhD Principal
5  JBB    3 weeks ago

Georgia's Voter Suppression Law is the "Botch Job!"

PhD Principal
5.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @5    3 weeks ago

That is false.

There is no suppression.

Since you claim it, who is suppressed, and how so?

These are serious questions because so far, no one can actually say, no matter how many times I have asked.

Did you read the law or the article?

Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
6  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

I will say it again....just take your own water and snacks.  There is no law against that.


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