If elections have consequences, as the cliche goes, then so do lies. Both kinds of consequences were on display last week in Georgia.

On the same night that former President Donald Trump was on Fox News minimizing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law restricting voting rights in the state. Think of it as the legislative response to Trump’s false claim that rampant voter fraud denied him a victory in Georgia.

With his comments — among other observations, he said that the Jan. 6 mob was “zero threat” to the police or Congress — Trump was attempting to create an alibi for those who came to Washington because he told them the election was stolen and marched on the Capitol in his name. The work of federal law enforcement, building the case against the rioters, will now be fed into the Trumpist grievance grinder. How long before the attack itself is deemed yet another “hoax”?

No matter that one police officer died following his violent encounter with protesters, or that two others took their own lives shortly thereafter, or that countless others were injured, or that more than 400 people have been charged in connection to, yes, an insurrection designed to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. Who are you going to believe — Trump or your own lying eyes?

Georgia’s new election law, meanwhile, represents a sad 180-degree turn by Kemp — the same man who, despite enormous pressure from Trump, stood his ground on the integrity of Georgia’s November election. That brief bravery placed a bull’s-eye on Kemp’s back. Not only has Trump targeted him for defeat next year, the former president has already endorsed a challenger to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who also stood up to Trump’s (possibly illegal) intimidation tactics.

Kemp signed a law that removes much of the election oversight from local counties and the secretary of state — giving much authority to the state legislature. If there is a replay of 2020’s close election in 2024, the legislature could very well disenfranchise Georgia voters, who may well cast a majority of their ballots to the Democrats. The test run will be in 2022, when not only is Kemp up for reelection but so is new Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

The legislation also includes language limiting the number of drop boxes for absentee ballots. They now can be placed only at early-voting locations and be open only during business hours. So the drop box where Kemp himself voted in November is no more.

True, Georgia Republicans were shamed into removing a suggested ban on Sunday voting efforts, which was apparently deemed too much of a blatant assault on Black “Souls to the Polls” voter-turnout efforts. They did, however, manage to make it a crime to give food or water to someone waiting to vote — an equally overt attempt at Black voter suppression.

There are fewer polling locations in predominantly Black neighborhoods in Georgia than in white ones. As a result, lines are consistently longer in Black neighborhoods. That was true in Atlanta in the primary and the general election. Add in language that reduces the number of early voting days and the net result is clear: a system designed to wear down Black voters.

If some Good Samaritan gives bottled water away, they have now committed a crime. While self-service water stations can be set up, how many will be needed if the line stretches around the corner? Think a voter will come to a polling place sufficiently well-hydrated for an endurance test? More likely, especially if it’s hot, a hungry or tired voter will give up and head home.

For Georgia Republicans, that counts as mission accomplished. Or rather, vote suppressed.

So far, Trump’s false claim about a stolen election has produced an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and inspired an attempt at vote suppression in Georgia. (And similar legislation is being introduced in other states.) Republicans, with “evidence” largely arising from Trump’s conspiratorial mind, say that the electoral system can no longer be trusted. Voters need to ask themselves whether, when it comes to protecting their rights, the Republican Party can be trusted.

Robert A. George writes editorials on education and other policy issues for Bloomberg Opinion. He was previously a member of the editorial boards of the New York Daily News and New York Post.

(21) comments

bosco

WAPO gave Hidin' Biden four Pinochios for the lies he told about Georgia's new voting laws. Funny thing is, the Georgia law is more voter-friendly than Deleware. Maybe Lyin' Biden needs to look at voter suppression in Delaware first.

Hayduke2

Some commenters like to mislead. The whole story is that Biden implied the law also shortened hours on general election day, it didn't. HOWEVER, it did limit the hours of early voting to SUPRESS the vote. " As for early voting, the law specifically mentions that voting sites are required to open “beginning at 9:00 a.m.and ending at 5:00 p.m.” The specification, however, does not fit Biden’s characterization. As the Post noted, “[m]any listeners might assume he was talking about voting on Election Day, not early voting.” From the WP article.

bosco

Please read this fact check by liberal CNN and then come back and tell us all how the new law keeps anybody except dead people from voting in Georgia.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/31/politics/fact-check-georgia-voting-bill-law-elections-explained/index.html

Greg F

Republicans played hide the ballot drop box in TX and AZ also...making 1 box for 17M people in TX and one in a county where it would take 100 miles to drive to it. Trump tried to find votes he urged others to "find" that never existed. Gee boxco....you really do love your GOP despite the blatant liars they are.

Hayduke2

Some commenters need to be able to read and UNDERSTAND the article that they quote.

bosco

I'll circle back to see if either of you can explain how the Georgia law prevents anyone from voting. In the meantime, enjoy your Lyin' Biden kool aid.

Awteam2021

BOSCO, you have 3 cards to play; “ignorant, stupid, or common sense.”

You ask how Georgia’s changes in voting laws prevents minorities from voting?

Black voters were a major force in the Democratic success in recent elections in the senate and Georgia. With roughly 88 percent voting for Biden and more than 90 percent voting for Democrats - Warnock and Ossoff (democrats) won in the runoff senate elections, a major upset, in spite of the down ballot state election successes by Republicans in the general election. Right?

And you know, drop boxes and extended voting times were initially advocated and put into place by Republicans. Right?

But to name a few limitations focused on specifically minorities; ‘drop boxes’ for mail in ballots only placed indoors with limited access to time of day, more rigid voter identification requirements focused on minorities for absentee ballot voting and making it a crime to provide food and water to people waiting in line to vote. Long lines to vote are common in Black neighborhoods where the population is more dense. Access to voting is more limited based on population, especially in major populated areas. Particularly Atlanta and Fulton County where much of the state’s Democratic electorate lives.

I don’t thing Georgia’s modern day Jim Crow acts will prevent the onslaught of the demographic changes across the country but it should be taken seriously.

You now used your “ignorant card” . You have ‘stupid’ and ‘common sense’ left.

bosco

Did I ask how it prevents minorities from voting? NO. I asked how it prevents anybody from voting. Here's an analysis from Georgia NPR:

https://www.gpb.org/news/2021/03/27/what-does-georgias-new-voting-law-sb-202-do

Seems like the Dimocrats are the ones who rail against free and secure elections. Ever wonder why?

Greg F

Hidin' Biden? Like Hidin' his taxes Trump? Hidin' his pornstar payoff Trump? Hidin' behind liars he by pardoning Trump? Trump has 30K Pinochios minimum in his tenure, and they keep rolling now he lost (which he seems to be trying to hide that fact too.)

shiftless88

bosco; do not forget that the demographics and situation (size for one) of Delaware is very different from Georgia. And, IIRC, Biden is not the Governor of Delaware.

threecents

Shiftless[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

bosco

And he's not the governor of Georgia either.

threecents

Kemp would probably not be governor right now if not for voter suppression. (Google it if you don't believe me.) But I assumed he had turned a corner when he stood up to Trump. It is a shame that many Republicans leaders have given up on trying to appeal to minority voters and that a better strategy is to make it more difficult for them to vote.

Greg F

Republicans wouldn't mind a vote from a minority, but as for anything else, they will turn their backs entirely. Minorities voting for republican...like Jesus voting for Satan for class president.

bosco

Dimocrats don't mind votes from minorities either. Remember Hidin' Biden saying you ain't Black if you don't vote for him? Dimocrats also like to keep minorities down on their plantation and beholden to massah and the largesse.

Hayduke2

Blatant and disgusting! This speaks volumes as to why we need a federal law that makes the basics of voting immune from political manipulation by state legislatures. I believe the current bill being discussed goes a long way to making this happen, hence the opposition from the Republican Senators... Get rid of big money, gerrymandering, restrictions aimed at keeping people from exercising their constitutional right to vote and have it counted, etc.

bosco

Sounds like the same hue and cry from 2016 when the Dimocrats were complaining about rigged elections and protesting/questioning the electoral college results. All depends on whose ox is getting gored.

threecents

Most of us didn't say it was rigged - just that Russia and others spread false information to help their side win, and that was confirmed in 2020 by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, despite Trump's contention that Russia interfered on Hillary's behalf.

Greg F

Republican leaders these days don't even pretend to have a shred of decency among them. Their followers, I am convinced, are some of the most under-informed, misinformed and willfully stupid people on the planet in following these "leaders." It reminds me of people who followed a certain party that led up to WWII...standing by as their nation was taken over by true evil.

shiftless88

Unfortunately so many Republicans these days see lying as a feature rather than something to be ashamed of. Anything goes if it increases their power and fires up the base.

matthewboh

Don't forget "lines their pockets". McConnell is the prime example...

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