Criticism of Georgia's new voting rules bill is "outrageous" because the measure makes it easy to vote, not difficult, and complaints from Democrats and President Joe Biden about it are a distraction so they can "do an unconstitutional power grab" with HR 1, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday.
"It leads to the question of this is all just a distraction for them to make a case to do an unconstitutional power grab with HR 1 and also to distract from the crisis of people flowing across the southern border," the Republican governor said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "Perhaps they should pay more attention to that than to our genius voting times that we have in Georgia especially compared to (Biden's) own state of Delaware."
Biden has slammed Georgia's voting law and other Republican reform efforts as "Jim Crow in the 21st century," but Kemp pointed out his claims on the law in his state have been disproven.
"President Biden got four Pinocchios on The Washington Post which is incredible because they're absolutely right. What he is saying is not true," said Kemp.
"Even more hypocrisy was with Stacey Abrams celebrating New Jersey expanding the nine days of early voting when her own state of Georgia has 17," Kemp said, slamming his former challenger. "They are being mistruthful about what the bill does."
He also defended a provision in the bill that forbids people from giving voters in line water or food while they are waiting.
"The political groups and others, the nonprofits, whoever, can still do that if they're outside the 150-foot buffer around the polling location or 25 feet from the end of the line," said Kemp. "We are just trying to keep voters from being harassed and electioneered while they are standing in line, preparing to vote. We have had laws like that and most states have had them around the country for years. But you know, hypocrisy is running rampant right now."
Biden also said the new law ends voting hours early, and Kemp said that is not true.
"As a matter of fact, we have 134 out of 159 counties (where) this bill will actually be expanding the number of hours that people can vote, so what he is saying is not true," said Kemp, also slamming Biden's criticism on the law's rules on drop boxes.
"There are actually counties that didn't have drop boxes," said Kemp. "This legislation requires every county to have one, so what they are saying, again, is not true."
Kemp on Wednesday also spoke about the state's continuing push to reopen after COVID shutdowns, noting that for the most part, the economy in Georgia has been reopened for some time.
"The sectors that we have left that have been struggling are like many around the country when you think about the airline industry, business, and tourism, travel, convention center business," said Kemp. "In Georgia, this time of year, all the way through the summer, our beaches, mountains, you know, there is a lot of hardworking Georgians that depend on those jobs and businesses that depend on that revenue. And that's what we have got to reopen. Our numbers are in the right place to start doing that. So we are working that way."
Georgia also has not had a statewide mask mandate during the whole pandemic and doesn't have one now, but people are doing the "right thing" and being respectful about wearing masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated, the governor added.
"That's how we come out of this and live with it for whoever long it's going to be over next several months or even if it's years," said Kemp. "That's what we have to do. We cannot continue to shut down. People cannot survive that."
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