Some reactions to the hypocrisy and hyperbole greeting the Georgia Election reform bill. It pays to get the whole story though this rarely happens in our partisan world ruled by narratives rather than facts.
Blue State Voter Suppression. by Karl Rove in WSJ (paywall)
Both Georgia and Iowa are continuing no-excuse mail-in absentee voting, a favorite of Ms. Abrams, Ms. Harris and the Democratic left’s anti-“suppression” brigade. But if they’re really concerned about protecting this essential tool of democracy, they’ve missed a couple of suppression efforts. New York state is one of 15 that doesn’t allow no-excuse absentee voting, along with fellow deep-blue Connecticut and Delaware. If attempts to constrain or limit no-excuse mail-in voting are prima facie evidence of racism, what does it say about states whose statutes don’t allow it at all? Calling Gov. Andrew Cuomo —voting scandal on aisle 3!
Jim Eagle and GA voting law. from WSJ Editorial Board
So what does the Georgia law do? First, it gets rid of signature matching, so election workers aren’t trying to verify mail ballots by comparing John Hancocks. This subjective process should concern both sides. It creates avenues for contested outcomes, with fighting over ambiguous signatures. In 2018 about 2,400 ballots in Georgia were rejected for issues with the signature or oath, according to a recent paper in Political Research Quarterly. Those voters were 54% black.
Instead of signature matching, voters will submit a state ID number with their mail ballots or applications. This way there’s no arguing over handwriting: The ID number either matches or it doesn’t. Georgians who vote in person are already asked to show identification. Anyone who lacks an ID can get one for free.
Jim Crow is Not on the Ga Ballot also from the WSJ Editorial Board
The House would also order that voter wait times be measured at large precincts. If they reached an hour, adjustments would be required before the next election. On the Senate side, one bill would let workers begin processing piled-up mail votes, in strict confidence, eight days before the election. Some states already do preprocessing, which cuts delays in reporting final numbers. It’s a good change, and other states—ahem, Pennsylvania—should do the same.
Biden’s Election Reform Deception from Karl Rove at the WSJ
Unlike Iowa and Georgia, Delaware forbids no-excuse mail-in absentee voting. Only voters who meet a specific criteria can vote by mail, such as government employees; students; those with work or religious prohibitions, an illness or a disability; or those vacationing or living outside the U.S. Some have critiqued Georgia for capping the number of additional dropboxes for absentee ballots beyond the one required for each county at one per 100,000 active voters (of which the state has nearly 7.4 million) or one for every early voting site, whichever is fewer. But Delaware has about half as many dropbox locations per capita—only four across the entire state.
Moreover, both Iowa (since 1990) and Georgia (since 2004) have long had no-excuse in-person early voting. It’s available in Iowa during an election’s last 29 days. This year’s Georgia reforms require 17 mandatory days and two optional Sundays of early voting, up four days from last fall.
By contrast, Delaware has never allowed no-excuse early voting. To date, only voters eligible to cast mail-in absentee votes were allowed to vote early in-person. That is set to change in 2022, but even then Delaware will allow no-excuse, in-person early voting for only 10 days.
How about the bugaboo about requiring voter ID at the polls? All three states require it and accept many of the same forms (driver’s license, passport, etc.), though Iowa and Georgia provide free identification cards upon request. If Delaware voters don’t have such ID, they can “sign an affidavit of affirmation that the voter is the person listed on the election district record,” opening them to fines and possibly jail time if they aren’t.
Georgia is Where the Lies Are- from Charles Cooke at National Review
Jim Crow? Really? Are you too lazy to actually read the bill or too intellectually bankrupt to get beyond pejorative fundraising slogans? Utterly shameless.
Setting the Record Straight on Georgia’s New Voter-Access Law from the Ga Secretary of State
It’s axiomatic in American political debate that anyone calling someone a Nazi has automatically lost.
Resorting to the Nazi charge is a sign of rhetorical and intellectual desperation. It shows an inability or unwillingness to make distinctions, since whatever is being condemned is unlikely ever to be anything like Nazism. Finally, it exhibits a moral bankruptcy by taking the unspeakable suffering of countless millions of people and using it to make what is typically a cheap argument for self-serving ends.
It’s time to begin to think of invocations of Jim Crow in the contemporary debate as just as loathsome and self-discrediting as the Nazi charge.
Denver’s black population, on the other hand, is somewhere around 9 percent. You want to see a segregated city, come visit Denver. That might be something Manfred, who runs a league with one black majority owner, could ponder as his limo drives by the blinding whiteness of neighborhoods like “Stapleton” — officially changed to the anodyne “Central Park” less than a year ago — on his way from Denver International to downtown.
The food-and-drink provision of Georgia’s law is based on a similar provision in New York state’s election law..
The reason for the new provision was to cut down on the real, and increasingly abused practice of line warming, which already was against the law in Georgia, the authors of the state House and Senate election-security bills told National Review. The two bills were eventually merged into Senate Bill 202, which was signed in late March by Georgia governor Brian Kemp.
Abrams should be more understanding of the practical considerations at work in such decisions, given that she used exactly this kind of reasoning in 2011 to justify slashing the days available for early voting in Georgia. As a member of the state legislature, she cosponsored legislation, which was passed and signed into law, to cut the days for early voting from 45 all the way down to 21.