US President Joe Biden came out strongly on Friday against a recently enacted law in the state of Georgia, calling it an “attack on the right to vote.”
“This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end. We have a moral and Constitutional obligation to act,” Biden said in a statement, referring to laws passed in the wake of the abolition of slavery that were intended to disenfranchise Black voters.
Biden pointed to the record-high voter turnout in last year’s presidential elections that saw over 159 million people cast ballots across the country, including in Georgia which broke its all-time record with over 4 million votes counted.
Multiple recounts and court cases have demonstrated “the integrity and outcome of a clearly free, fair, and secure democratic process,” Biden said in a statement.
“Instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote,” he said.
“This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience,” he added.
Among its many provisions, the law criminalizes giving food or water to voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, reduces the number of ballot drop boxes, and establishes new ID requirements for absentee ballots. It also curtails voting hours, shaving off an hour on election day in a move critics say is intended to hinder working-class voters’ ability to cast ballots.
The bill passed the state legislature without a single Democratic vote in support. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law behind closed doors on Thursday.
Similar efforts are underway in other Republican-held states.