Campus Reform on April 9 interviewed students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where several liberal students showed their support for voting reform proposals before they learned they were part of Georgia’s new election integrity measures.
After last year’s close presidential race, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a massive overhaul of the state’s election laws into law on Thursday, April 8, enforcing voter ID requirements, banning drop boxes, and enabling state takeovers of local elections.
Despite Democratic protests, Republican lawmakers passed the bill through both the House and the Senate. The bill was approved on a party-line vote in both houses, with the Senate voting 34-20 and the House voting 100-75.
In that context, Campus Reform’s reporter Addison Smith approached several students at the Georgetown University, introduced some specific voting measures, and asked their thoughts on them, reported Neon Nettle.
Campus Reform found that they almost unanimously supported the proposals, which, unbeknownst to them at the time, were derived directly from the new Georgia voting law.
One student said: “Making sure people aren’t casting more than one vote sounds kinda common-sense to me,” referring to the new law that absentee voters would be requested to show driver’s license numbers or other identification as part of a new mechanism for verifying their identity, which would replace signature matching procedures.
Smith then went through some of the other provisions of the new law with the students, which included: requiring two Saturdays of early voting instead of one, allowing counties to extend early voting to two Sundays, clarifying voting hours, and prohibiting campaigning within 150 feet of a polling booth.
A female student, who appeared to support voter identification to deter illegal voting, shared: “I think that allowing voters more time to vote is never a bad thing.”
“The ability to vote on the weekend, specifically, makes a lot of sense,” said another student.
Smith then asked the students if they thought the bill he outlined would be a suitable replacement for Georgia’s rule. A student who came from Georgia agreed: “Yeah, anything’s better than that.”
When told that he had accurately identified the Georgia bill, the student barely reacted, saying that the bill had contained fewer voting locations. Others were taken aback when they learned what was actually in the Georgia bill, saying they had not read it.
The Georgia student then said that requiring an ID to vote was “classist” and that three years wasn’t enough time for people to obtain an ID.
When Smith told her that more than 70% of black voters favor showing identification at the polls, she replied: “Okay, I don’t.” She did not clarify why proving identity is “classist” or why she thinks black and minority Americans cannot obtain identification.
Several voting rights groups have filed a federal lawsuit to block the bill, claiming it placed “unjustifiable burdens” on minority, young, disadvantaged, and disabled voters. Absentee ballot provisions, dropbox caps, provisional ballot invalidations, and food and drink “bans” were all challenged in the lawsuit by The New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter and Rise.
According to the Daily Wire, the bill was condemned by Democrats as a symptom of continued voter suppression and white supremacy.
As mentioned in the bill, people can still get food and drink while standing in line under the new legislation, but they can not get it from candidates or employees (poll workers can hand it out, and people can order or bring it themselves). But Senator Jon Ossoff took to Twitter to express his thoughts: “Among its outrageous provisions: it criminalizes giving water to voters who are waiting in line.”
There seemed to be a mismatch between what Democrats and their media allies said about the bill and what it actually does.