Former President Donald Trump claimed Republicans have not made controversial voting restrictions in the state of Georgia strong enough out of fear of being called racists.
“My reaction is the Georgia bill is far too weak,” Trump told Fox News personality Sean Hannity. “It’s just where you have to have signature verification. They don’t have it. Why don’t they have signature verification? You want matching. You want matching signatures. They have many things that they didn’t put in. Look, what happened is the governor and others were afraid to be called racists.”
“So they gave a very weak bill,” he added. “And they’re called racists anyway. They had a much stronger bill a few weeks before this one came out.”
Earlier this month, Trump said new voting restrictions passed in the state of Georgia are “too weak” as Governor Brian Kemp (R) and his government continue to face harsh criticism from advocacy groups who say the restrictions will disproportionately affect poorer communities and people of color.
“Georgia’s election reform law is far too weak and soft to ensure real ballot integrity,” Trump wrote in a statement before taking a jab at early voting procedures.
“Election Day is supposed to be Election Day, not Election Week or Election Month. Too much ‘mischief’ can happen during this very long period of time. You saw that in the 2020 Presidential Election. How’s Ruby Freeman doing?” he said, referring to an election worker he falsely accused of committing voter fraud after he launched a failed campaign to force state officials to overturn President Joe Biden‘s win.
Trump targeted Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in addition to Governor Kemp, saying they “should have eliminated no-excuse, widespread mass Mail-In Voting, gotten rid of the dangerous and insecure Drop-Boxes, and should have kept and EXPANDED Signature Verification to do matches against the historical vote file, among other things.”
Georgia’s Republican legislature last month passed legislation that significantly curbs voting rights, including limiting absentee ballots and imposing stricter identification requirements. It also includes a measure that makes it a misdemeanor to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.
Trump has often claimed without evidence that state election officials are unable to verify signatures on absentee ballots.
His claim is incorrect. The Associated Press already conducted a fact check that showed “There is nothing in the consent decree that prevents Georgia election clerks from scrutinizing signatures.”
“The legal settlement signed in March addresses accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes,” the AP continues, noting that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has said that verifying signatures is both possible and required by the state.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.