Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp reacted strongly after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris criticized the state's new election law.
In his Tuesday speech at Atlanta University Center (AUC), the president referred to the Georgia law as "voter suppression" and claimed the legislation makes it easier for local election officials to be removed from their positions. President Biden also claimed that it is illegal to serve food and water to Georgia voters while they’re in line.
Harris in her Atlanta speech called the legislation an "anti-voter law" and claimed Georgia residents will be kept from voting. Biden and Harris said federal legislation is needed to shield voting rights, particularly those of Americans of color.
"When you come to the AUC, you do it to appeal to Black voters, and you do it because you expect to be heard by Black voters everywhere," said Adrienne Jones, an assistant professor of political science at Morehouse College, as reported in Time magazine.
Kemp said the Georgia voting law that passed last year, Senate Bill 202, helped build confidence in election security.
"The facts are simple: SB 202 expands early voting opportunities, secures drop boxes around the clock, reduces long lines at polling places, and implements the very same voter ID requirement for absentee ballots that we’ve had for in-person voting for well over a decade," he said.
"The president and the vice president have never taken time to read what's actually in the bill," Kemp said on "Fox and Friends" Wednesday.
"They just believe if they tell these lies and mistruths so much that people will believe them. And I’m going to continue to push back against that."
"President Biden's talking about us being a suppressive state for voting. His own state of Delaware, you got to have an excuse to vote absentee by mail," he said.
"When we passed this legislation, they didn't even have early voting in Delaware. We had 15 days. Now we can have up to 17."
He said that a provision in the bill allows members of political parties to serve food to voters as long as they are farther than 150 feet from the voting location.
Kemp is a conservative Republican who fell out with former President Donald Trump after failing to help overturn the Georgia election results in 2020, The New York Times reported.
He is in a bitter primary battle with former Sen. David Perdue, a Trump ally.
"Make no mistake, Georgia is ground zero for the Biden-Harris assault on election integrity," Kemp said, "as well as attempts to federalize everything from how hardworking Georgians run their businesses, to what our kids are taught in school, to how we run elections."
Biden said in his Atlanta speech he supports changes to the filibuster, which would, in theory, make it easier to pass voting-rights legislation in Washington.
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