Georgia's Voting Law Doesn't Go Far Enough | Opinion

Georgia's election integrity bill, SB 202, doesn't go far enough. Not even close.

Far from being Jim Crow 2.0, or "Jim Crow on steroids," as Joe Biden has framed it, the law is a ho-hum, vanilla piece of legislation which, as I said on my radio show when it was signed, was only a five out of 10 on the conservative scorecard—at best.

I'm pleased to hear other conservatives, including Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist and President Donald Trump, now sounding the same note. The Democrats' shameless misrepresentation of SB 202 was never a sincere, good-faith argument against the bill's merits. They were intentionally propagandizing to the American people in an attempt to force conservatives to beg for mercy in hopes that our media overlords would stop calling us racists.

Well, they've sadly overplayed the race card far too many times.

Conservatives are very well aware of this time-honored and treacherous tactic from progressives, and we will not be cowed by it any longer. Let's not mince words: There is nothing remotely racist about this law. At all. It doesn't matter how many "civil rights" agitators like Stacey Abrams they put out on the nightly news, or how many woke corporations like Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball they intimidate into abandoning the half of the country that buys their products. Conservatives are now fully awake to the importance of election integrity, and if Americans' confidence in elections is not restored in the next two years, it may never come back.

Consider what changed in Georgia between 2016 and 2020. More than six times as many Georgians voted absentee in 2020 as in 2016, and those absentee votes broke nearly two to one in favor of Joe Biden. The state saw an incredible increase from just over 200,000 absentee votes in 2016 to more than 1.3 million in 2020, and according to Ballotpedia, rejections rates of those absentee ballots decreased from 6.4 percent in 2016 to just 0.3 percent in 2020.

Ballots can be rejected for a variety of reasons, such as signature verification issues, errors in filling out various forms, failure to properly confirm an identity and so on. And one would expect that, with so many more people voting absentee for the first time, the rejection rate would go up simply because of user error by first-timers. But the rejection rate didn't go up; it plummeted. In fact, had the rejection rate simply remained the same, Trump would have likely won the Peach State.

While SB 202 doesn't go nearly far enough in securing the integrity of the franchise, it does make absentee ballots easier to verify. Requesting and returning an absentee ballot will now require either a voter's driver license number, state ID number or some other forms of acceptable ID. We have seen some overtly racist arguments—far too common from the "soft bigotry of low expectations" leftist crowd—that black people are not smart enough to find their own ID number on a state-issued free license. What dehumanizing nonsense—talk about who the real racists are here. Indeed, far from being an overreach by lawmakers, this law's course correction by the Georgia GOP represents a bare-minimum election integrity measure.

Stacey Abrams Voting Rights
Former US Representative and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams speaks at a Get Out the Vote rally with former US President Barack Obama as he campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden on November 2, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia. Elijah Nouvelage / AFP/Getty Images

Let me say that again. Far from being "Jim Crow 2.0," this modest law represents the absolute bare minimum course correction from the chaos of the 2020 election.

Even The New York Times has admitted that, far from restricting voting access for communities of color, SB 202 actually expands voting opportunities, especially for urban communities:

The law expands the number of required days of early voting, including on the weekend days that progressives covet (two Saturdays are now required instead of one). There's also a provision that requires large precincts with long lines to add machines, add staff or split the precinct. Depending on how this is rolled out, it could be a big win for voters in Georgia's urban areas, who have dealt with some of the longest lines in the country.

But the facts don't seem to matter to either Joe Biden or woke corporations. Since Democrats and their flacks are intent on calling conservatives racists for passing a totally milquetoast election integrity bill, conservatives should have ideally gone the whole way and passed a real reform bill instead.

Governor Brian Kemp should have eliminated no-excuse absentee voting in its entirety. He should have demanded a ban on the vast and highly unsecured network of ballot drop boxes. Georgia's GOP should have moved to prohibit private money "grants" in "support" of vote-by-mail activities in several Georgia counties, including heavily Democratic DeKalb County, which broke for Biden by a staggering 83-15 margin. These grants are largely funded by Google, Facebook and other far-left corporations. Lastly, Georgia's leadership should have returned the state to a single voting day, as opposed to the insanity of weeks and months of early voting.

While not only laughably inaccurate, likening SB 202 to Jim Crow 2.0 also tragically cheapens the sacrifices and accomplishments of those Americans who actually suffered under Jim Crow.

Let's also compare the mild Georgia law to some other jurisdictions of note. In Delaware, Joe Biden's home state, there is no same-day voter registration, no "no-excuse" absentee voting and voter ID is required. In Colorado, where Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game from Georgia, voters need a valid Colorado driver license, a U.S. passport, an IRS-issued ID card or a certified birth certificate in order to vote. In fact, as Newsweek reported, Colorado has stricter voting laws than Georgia itself. Talk about hypocrisy.

The fact that Democrats—including Joe Biden and the mainstream media—are so intent on spreading this falsehood is revealing. It proves that they are terrified that other swing states—including Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—will pass similar laws.

If Democrats can convince you that any American concerned with election integrity is a racist, they might just succeed in passing H.R. 1 at the federal level, robbing states like Georgia of the ability to run their own elections and ensuring that mass mail-in voting with zero voter ID requirements whatsoever becomes the status quo—and not just a pandemic anomaly. In short, it would likely result in states like Georgia becoming one-party Democratic states, just like California. This is Democrats' real agenda, and their overreaction to a vanilla law in Georgia is the tell.

Conservatives should no longer be intimidated or bullied, and we should go the whole way and fix all of the issues that made the 2020 election a chaotic national embarrassment.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA and host of the top-rated podcast and nationally syndicated Salem radio show, The Charlie Kirk Show.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.