Georgia’s election laws falsely accused of voter suppression

Timothy Carney
Conservative Opinion

Timothy Carney

Timothy Carney, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
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As former President Obama campaigns in Georgia, all eyes are on voter turnout. Georgia passed a law in 2021 that overhauled elections in the state by mandating voter identification for absentee ballots and limiting the use of ballot drop boxes. It also adds more staff and equipment in locations that have long lines and it shortens runoff elections. President Biden and Democrats decried the new law, arguing that it would discourage voting among marginalized groups. But as Straight Arrow News contributor Timothy Carney argues, that hasn’t happened, just the opposite.

Perennial candidate Stacey Abrams has spent six years shouting that Republican Brian Kemp, as secretary of state and as governor, has been suppressing voters, especially black voters.

If that’s what Kemp is doing, he’s really bad at it. Joe Biden called Georgia’s 2021 election law worse than Jim Crow. And he got the news media to play along, which in turn led to corporate America taking the side of the Democrats. But none of this was true. 

Data from this year’s primaries and early voting show that the election bill certainly didn’t make it too hard for Georgians to vote. Georgians can vote by mail. They can vote early and they do vote in massive and growing numbers. 

So why do Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden cry disenfranchisement or voter suppression? Because it works? Democrats know that very few tactics motivate voters more than telling them that someone is trying to stop them from voting. 

Adding the ingredient of race makes his brew much more potent. Democrats have even run tests on this. One 2020 study concluded that Democrats were significantly mobilized by postcards that alleged racist disenfranchisement efforts.  

Specifically, it found, quote, “approximately a two percentage point increase in turnout overall, and even higher increases among high vote-propensity Democrats.” 

So while Republicans in Georgia pass laws to make voting easy and secure, Democrats in Georgia do their part to drive up voting by lying to their constituents.

 

Georgia polling places open for early voting on October 17.  And on day one, more than 130,000 voters cast their ballots. That almost doubled the state’s previous opening day record for a midterm election. It looks like the 2022 election could be the third in a row where Georgia will set records for voter turnout. 

Four years ago, turnout in the governor’s race jumped massively from 2.5 million voters in 2014 to 3.9 million in 2018. This reflected huge increases in voter registration and a 33% increase in voter turnout. The last presidential election saw a similar jump in Georgia from 3.9 million in 2016 to 4.9 million in 2020.  

Georgia, since 2016, has been a model for increasing voter registration and turnout. The increase in voter registration is greatest among African Americans, whose ranks on the rolls increased by 25% in four years. 

The Democrats control the U.S. Senate because of extraordinary black voter turnout in the Senate runoffs four years ago. This might surprise you though, if you listen to Georgia Democrats or to the major media. 

Perennial candidate Stacey Abrams has spent six years shouting that Republican Brian Kemp, as secretary of state and as governor, has been suppressing voters, especially black voters.

If that’s what Kemp is doing, he’s really bad at it. Joe Biden called Georgia’s 2021 election law worse than Jim Crow. And he got the news media to play along, which in turn led to corporate America taking the side of the Democrats. But none of this was true. 

Data from this year’s primaries and early voting show that the election bill certainly didn’t make it too hard for Georgians to vote. Georgians can vote by mail. They can vote early and they do vote in massive and growing numbers. 

So why do Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden cry disenfranchisement or voter suppression? Because it works? Democrats know that very few tactics motivate voters more than telling them that someone is trying to stop them from voting. 

Adding the ingredient of race makes his brew much more potent. Democrats have even run tests on this. One 2020 study concluded that Democrats were significantly mobilized by postcards that alleged racist disenfranchisement efforts.  

Specifically, it found, quote, approximately a two percentage point increase in turnout overall, and even higher increases among high vote-propensity Democrats. 

So while Republicans in Georgia pass laws to make voting easy and secure, Democrats in Georgia do their part to drive up voting by lying to their constituents.

 


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