Status: 03/27/2021 10:56 a.m.
Limited opening hours, stricter postal voting rules, addressing waiting people as a criminal offense: the US state of Georgia has changed its voting rights and has thus triggered severe criticism – especially from President Biden.
The US state of Georgia has changed its franchise, sparking a fierce battle between Democrats and Republicans across the country. US President Joe Biden described the controversial reform, which among other things makes postal voting and registration for the election more difficult, as the racism of the 21st century. The law runs “contrary to American values in order to deprive voters of their right to vote,” the president continued. “We have a moral and constitutional duty to act.” On Thursday he had already called the law and similar projects in other states “sick”.
The Democrat called on Congress to adopt reforms that have recently been launched that would make voting much easier nationwide. Addressing the Republicans who pushed the Georgia law through, he said, “When you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.”
“Law undermines democracy”
The electoral reform in the southern state limits the number of post boxes for ballot papers and their opening times on the streets. In addition, the state will require, among other things, that voters who want to vote by postal vote must provide the number of their driver’s license. However, many Americans do not have a driver’s license or ID, in the USA there is no registration system like in Germany. It will also be forbidden for third parties to speak to voters standing in line – even offering them water or food will be a crime in the future.
Biden said the Republicans created the long lines themselves by reducing the number of polling stations, “disproportionately in black neighborhoods”. Biden called the law an “outright attack on the constitution”. The influential US civil rights organization ACLU said: “This law undermines our democracy and the political power of black voters.” Several organizations filed complaints against the reform.
Republicans, on the other hand, argue that the changes would make the elections safer and better protected from fraud. Ken Cuccinelli, formerly a member of the Trump administration and now a lobbyist, is defending the tightened suffrage. There has been a growing problem with the credibility of the electoral system, Cuccinelli said. In fact, the elected US President Donald Trump had spread the lie for weeks that he had actually won the election. In Georgia, Trump even called the election officer and asked on the phone to “find” the votes he was missing.
Democrats plan nationwide electoral reform
In Georgia in particular, a record voter turnout and the demographic change in the metropolises contributed to the triumphs of the Democrats in the election for the White House and the runoff elections for the two seats of the southern state in the Senate in Washington. Previously Georgia was traditionally firmly in Republican hands.
Not only here – in other electoral states such as Iowa and Arizona, the Republican-controlled congresses want to introduce similar restrictions. For their part, the Democrats are planning a major federal electoral reform to make voting easier. Among other things, early voting should be expanded, and you should be automatically registered as a voter and no longer have to actively do it yourself. Convicted criminals could then also vote and the individual states of the USA should have a harder time excluding registered voters.
The law, already approved in the House of Representatives, will also be put to the vote in the Senate, said the Democratic majority leader there, Chuck Schumer. However, it seems unlikely that the bill will be adopted in its current form. Biden called on the senators for approval. “Let the people vote,” he warned.
With information from Torsten Teichmann,
Georgia, of all places, is tightening the electoral law: the US Department of Justice should examine
Torsten Teichmann, ARD Washington, March 27, 2021 11:09 am