WASHINGTON, March 26 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday slammed a new law enacted by the southern state of Georgia to impose voting restrictions, calling it “Jim Crow in the 21st century” aimed to deny people the right to vote.
“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,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
“This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It must end,” said Biden.
The law, signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday, imposes restrictions on the use of ballot drop boxes, along with photo identification requirements for absentee voting and a shortened time frame for runoff elections. It also gives state lawmakers more control over elections.
Biden particularly criticized a provision barring volunteers from giving food and water to voters standing in line while waiting to vote.
“You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote. Give me a break,” the president said later on Friday.
Voting rights groups on Thursday night filed a lawsuit against the law, accusing that minority voters will be hit especially hard by the new legislation, which plaintiffs say illegally suppresses voters’ rights in violation of constitutional protections and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, according to a report of The Hill.
Georgia is the first battleground state to overhaul its voting laws in the wake of the 2020 general elections. Enditem