The White House on Thursday defended President Joe Biden’s inaccurate critique of Georgia’s newly passed election reform law.
Biden has claimed that the law requires polls to close at 5 p.m. but it does not. He also said the bill bars people from providing voters who are in line with water or food. It does, but makes an exception for freestanding water receptacles that are self-serve.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the inaccuracies after a reporter during a briefing in Washington noted them.
The bill “standardizes the ending of voting every day at five, right? It just gives options?” she said. “It gives options to expand it—right?—but it standardized it at five. It also makes it so that outside groups can’t provide water or food to people in line. Right? It makes it more difficult to absentee vote. Are those things all correct?”
“So, no, our tone is not changing. We have concerns about the specific components of the package, including the fact that it makes it harder and more difficult for people to vote by limiting absentee options; by making it not viable, not possible for people to provide water to people who are in line; by not standardizing longer hours. So, if you’re making it harder to vote, no, we don’t support that,” she added.
The bill changes the vague “normal business hours” during which voting shall be conducted to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at minimum. However, clerks can keep polling sites open as long as 12 hours, or from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Additionally, it states that people may not actively “offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector,” adding later that nothing prohibits a poll officer “from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a newspaper in Georgia, offered a correction after also falsely claiming the new law would limit voting hours.
“Nothing in the new law changes those rules,” the paper said.
“It is obvious that neither President Biden nor his handlers have actually read SB 202, which I signed into law yesterday,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a recent emailed statement to The Epoch Times. “This bill expands voting access, streamlines vote-counting procedures, and ensures election integrity.”