“We have heard a lot about no food or water in line, but beyond those headlines, what is the most dangerous part of this bill?” she asked Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, D.
“The most dangerous part of this bill, in my opinion, is the dialing back of or giving to the state legislature control over the election process,” Bottoms said. “In the midst of this 98-page bill, there are provisions that strip the secretary of state of a position on the election board, and it essentially gives oversight to the Republican-led state legislature.
“That’s not the way elections should be run … They should be overseen by the secretary of state in a fair manner.”
Bottoms then implicitly corrected Ruhle, saying the host had mentioned the oft-criticized rule of “not being able to pass out water in line,” although that framing was also misleading. The law allows poll workers to provide self-service water from an unattended receptacle within 150 feet of a polling place, but it prohibits people from actively distributing food and drink within that distance, as well money or gifts.
Georgia is not alone on the subject. For instance, in New York state there is a restriction on passing out food and water over $1 in value to voters in line.
The “water” rule and other facets of the Georgia law have been the subject of fierce criticism and debate.
Democrats are furious over the Georgia law, with President Biden calling it “Jim Crow on steroids,” and there has already been economicc fallout. Bowing to liberal furor, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the 2021 All-Star Game would be pulled out of Atlanta and moved to Colorado’s Coors Field.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, R., and other Republicans have fired back at MLB and corporations like Coca-Cola and Delta that spoke out against the law, calling them uninformed on its actual rules. Some criticism stems from the reform being passed in response to Democratic 2020 triumphs in Georgia, as Biden and Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff scored upset victories.
The sprawling legislation brings about a host of changes, including expanding early voting days, codifying drop boxes into law but limiting their number per county, shortening the no-excuse absentee ballot application period, preventing government agencies from mailing applications unsolicited, using driver’s licenses or some other form of photo ID instead of signature-matching to verify identities in absentee ballot applications, and shortening the election runoff period.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.
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