Biden urges Congress to push through electoral reform in wake of Georgia’s ballot restrictions

Biden also said that both the White House and the Justice Department were investigating possible measures regarding voting rights in Georgia.

On Thursday, Biden showed that he was open to scrapping the filibuster for “certain things that are only essential to the functioning of our democracy, such as the right to vote”.

Georgia’s broad new electoral law will add an identity requirement for voters requesting an absentee ballot, shorten the length of the election, and effectively hand over the election commission to the legislature. It also restricts drop boxes and prohibits people from giving food or drink to voters in line. Voters in the Georgia primaries faced each other sometimes several hours, especially near and in Atlanta, a highly democratic area in the closely divided state.

Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated Biden’s support for Congress to push through the electoral reform, telling reporters Friday that the recent law in Georgia was deliberately designed to “block entire populations.”

In a statement, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger criticized characterizations of the law as intended to limit voter access, saying it is instead implementing new security measures and expanding access.

“The cries of ‘voter suppression’ from those on the left ring as hollow as the constantly debunked allegations of ‘massive voter fraud’ in the 2020 elections in Georgia … Their disastrous predictions about the effects of this law are simply unfounded. prove that, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the left and the media to admit they were wrong, ”he said.

The changes passed to the state legislature by Republicans and signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday come after Democrats passed a pivotal round of Senate elections in January, giving Democrats a majority in the chamber.

Republicans in and out of Georgia, especially those who support former President Donald Trump, have imposed new voting restrictions, citing “election integrity” despite the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud. Democrats and advocates of the right to vote have called the efforts “oppression of voters.”

Biden had rejected attempts to limit access to votes at his first formal press conference Thursday, calling them “ sick. ”

“What I’m concerned about is how un-American this whole initiative is,” said Biden.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) Too condemned Georgia’s new voting restrictions on Friday.

“What the state legislature did yesterday is to try to arrest the votes and the votes of the people,” Warnock said.

Benjamin Din contributed to this report.