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Georgia Republicans Just Made It A Crime To Give Food And Water To Voters

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 26 Mar 2021 13:43
Georgia Republicans Just Made It A Crime To Give Food And Water To VotersWikimedia/PA Images

Lawmakers in the state of Georgia have just made it a crime to hand out snacks and drinks to voters as they wait in line.

The act of ‘line warming’ will now be a criminal offence as part of the Election Integrity Act, backed by Republicans, which aims to restrict voting in the state.

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It passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday, March 25, without a single vote in favour from Democratic lawmakers.

Georgia Republicans Just Made It A Crime To Give Food And Water To VotersPA Images

Republican governor Brian Kemp signed the bill into law, describing it as ‘common sense’, however it has been met with its fair share of criticisms.

It’s widely believed the bill is designed to diminish the impact of Black voters, who played an instrumental role in helping the Democrats claim the state from the Republicans.

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The bill comes after Donald Trump falsely claimed the election results were rigged in the southern state, prompting lawmakers to introduce the new legislation allegedly designed to make it harder to cheat.

Georgia Republicans Just Made It A Crime To Give Food And Water To VotersPA Images

However, one controversial point in the bill means it will now be against the law to hand out food or drinks of any kind to people waiting in line to vote.

‘No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material,’ the bill reads.

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‘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 an elector.’

The bill also includes provisions for a new ID requirement for absentee ballots, as well as a limited number of ballot drop boxes.

Georgia Republicans Just Made It A Crime To Give Food And Water To VotersPA Images

The Election Integrity Act will also forbid local county election offices from taking breaks while counting ballots and shorten the runoff election cycle from a total of nine weeks to just four weeks.

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Speaking after signing the bill into law, Kemp said, as per Reuters: ‘There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled, and those problems led to a crisis of confidence in the ballot box here in Georgia.’

Since the election, the Republican Party has filed more than 250 bills seeking new voting limits across the United States, in response to the ongoing unfounded claims of voter fraud; something President Joe Biden has described as ‘un-American’.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing on to UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Georgia, Now, Republicans

Credits

Reuters
  1. Reuters

    Georgia bans giving water to voters in line under sweeping restrictions