Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Tuesday voters lining up in Georgia could order food from Grubhub or UberEats after a new state law criminalized offers of free food and water near polling stations.
“They can order pizza,” Kemp said on the conservative Newsmax cable news network. “They can order Grubhub or UberEats, can’t they?”
A new law in the state, pushed by Republicans who echoed former President Donald Trump’s false claims about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, is making sweeping changes to electoral rules in Georgia. Among the provisions of the law is a rule prohibiting anyone other than election officials from offering food or water to voters within 150 feet of a polling station.
This provision, which makes the distribution of food or water a crime, has become a symbol of Democratic complaints about the broader provisions of the law, which make it more difficult for those absent to vote; reducing access to voting in urban and suburban counties of democratic learning while promoting it in rural areas that favor the GOP; and give Republican politicians absolute power over state elections.
Long lines to vote are common on the subway in Atlanta, the center of democratic power in the state, where a rapidly growing and diversifying population signifies the number of voters assigned to certain polling stations. Doubled since the beginning of the last decade. In the interview, Kemp blamed county governments – many of which are run by Democrats – for these long lines.
“They have to do a better job of running their elections and getting people through the lines, so they don’t stay there that long,” Kemp said.
Long lines can deter voters. A study According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, more than half a million eligible voters did not vote in 2016 due to long queues and other polling station management errors. And facing long queues once can deter voters from returning to vote in the future.
Democrats, up to and including President Joe Biden, attacked the law as a return to Jim Crow’s dispositions which succeeded in limiting the participation of black Americans in Southern politics for nearly a century. Big Georgian companies, including Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, have condemned the law, and Major League Baseball announced last week that it was moving the league’s All-Star Game to Denver. (Colorado, which sends a ballot to all registered voters in the state, has some of the most voter-friendly election laws in the country.)
Kemp said Major League Baseball and other companies had “caved in to the crowd.”
Kemp is due for re-election in 2022. Former Sen. Vernon Jones, a Democrat who changed parties and endorsed Trump in 2020, plans to challenge him in the GOP primary. Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, whom Kemp narrowly defeated in 2018, is expected to be the Democratic nominee.
After Kemp’s narrow victory in 2018, Democrats broke through in 2020. Biden narrowly won the state on Election Day, then Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won both seats in the state Senate. in two January elections.
In the run-off election, Trump repeatedly attacked Kemp and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for failing to undo Biden’s narrow victory. Trump has already endorsed Rep. Jody Hice as Raffensperger’s main challenger and suggested he would support an intra-party challenge to Kemp as well.
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