Democrats are melting down over the election security bill signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Their complaints seem to center around one issue. The new bill prohibits activist groups from giving away food and beverages to voters waiting in line. Democrats and the media shills completely ignore that self-service water stations are explicitly allowed. And not a single person complaining can explain why voters should expect to be fed and watered while waiting in line other than likening this provision to Jim Crow.
All this assertion proves is that they need to read a history book and learn about poll taxes and other actual voter suppression tactics. Democrat activists using food and water as a pretext to chat with voters in line exploded in the 2020 cycle. This trend needed to be prohibited, specifically in the longstanding law against campaigning within 150 feet of a polling location.
Those who support election integrity have also correctly pointed out that the legislation’s provisions aim specifically at reducing wait times. Democrat-run counties such as Fulton and Chatham seem unable to do this independently, so the state government outlines best practices and requirements to help them along. Democrats will get no more viral pictures of needlessly long lines to support their voter suppression narrative.
But even that is not what they are furious about. The most critical provision in the law regarding equal protection for voters in the state and preventing outside interference is the prohibition against outside funding. For those who missed it, part of the “shadow campaign” outlined by Time magazine was providing external financing for local election offices. These outside donations happened in counties where Democrats believed increased voter turnout would benefit them.
One such county in Georgia is Fulton. The Democrat stronghold, which includes Atlanta, has never been able to figure out how not to have voters standing in lines for hours and was a national embarrassment for the state on election night 2020. Much like Broward County in Florida, it has been a problem for years and was the primary reason the new legislation requires all counties in the state to count until they are finished after the polls close.
They were a primary beneficiary of what some now refer to as “Zuck Bucks” because Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife spent millions on this initiative. As PJ Media contributor J. Christian Adams wrote at the time:
Two things happened in 2020. First, COVID led to a dismantling of state election integrity laws by everyone except the one body with the constitutional prerogative to change the rules of electing the president – the state legislatures.
Second, the Center for Technology and Civic Life happened.
If you are focused on goblins in the voting machines but don’t know anything about the CTCL and what they did to defeat Donald Trump, it’s time to up your game.
The Center for Technology and Civic Life and allied groups are responsible for building an urban get-out-the-vote-machine of the sort that Democrats could only dream up on a bender fueled by jugs of Merlot and all the legalized pot they could smoke.
What did that look like in Fulton County? Part of it looked like brightly colored mobile polling stations that drove to neighborhoods and encouraged people to come out and vote. It also looked like slick ad campaigns and activists hired to staff the elections office. It included 20 drop boxes placed throughout the county, outside where monitoring of them was nearly non-existent.
What did those funds buy? A 23% increase in voter turnout overall and 99,337 more votes for Joe Biden than Hillary Clinton received. In 2016 Hillary Clinton had a 45% enthusiasm rate going into Election Day. Only 24% of Biden voters said they felt the same about his candidacy. Without the get-out-the-vote efforts found by the CTLC in counties like Fulton, it is doubtful nearly 100,000 more voters would have made an effort. The problem with these funds is they went to selected counties with a precise political aim to benefit Democrat candidates in statewide races.
So, when you see Democrats and their allies really mad that activists cannot offer buffets and beverages at polling stations, that is not why they are distraught. They are angry they can’t flood election offices with cash in selected counties. They are mad drop boxes for absentee ballots will be located in election offices during polling hours. And it upsets them that access to voting, including early, weekend, and evening hour voting, has been equalized across the state.
The bill also strengthens the voter ID requirements, which have broad support within the state. Statewide, 55% of voters prioritize safeguards over easy access. Overall, 74% of voters support having ID required for absentee ballots, including 56% of Democrats, 63% of black voters, 68% of other minority groups, and 86% of independent voters. This finding is consistent with other polling on voter ID, which democrats are desperate to eliminate nationwide in HR-1.
What may upset Democrats is the eventual need to acknowledge their wins in Georgia in 2020 relied on pandemic exceptions and questionable, even if not explicitly illegal, outside funding. The new law limits drop boxes to inside polling locations and prohibits external funding. If they had confidence there was a Democrat majority in the state, the bill would be uncontroversial.