Joe Biden’s administration is not backing down from the president’s potentially false earlier statement that Georgia’s new election law makes it harder for working people to vote.
The White House refused to acknowledge President Biden was wrong to suggest the Peach State’s recently enacted Senate Bill 202 would create obstacles for hard-working Georgians to cast their ballot because it requires voters to produce identification for absentee ballots, limit drop boxes, and changes early voting hours.
“Fundamentally, the president does not believe it should be made harder to vote; he believes it should be easier, and this bill makes it harder to request and return an absentee ballot,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
She defended Biden’s unsubstantiated claims that the bill was “sick” because it ends voting at 5 p.m. and deprives those who work regular business hours of the opportunity to vote before their shift ends.
“It collapses the length of Georgia’s runoff election, making it harder for large jurisdictions to offer early voting,” she said. “It imposes rigid new restrictions on local officials’ ability to set polling hours to suit the needs of voters in their county. Those are all pieces of the bill, so his view is that we need to make it easier and not harder to vote, and that will continue to be what he advocates for.”
However, a recent fact-check published in the Washington Post found the law still gives counties the power to extend voting hours when the need arises. Based on this inconsistency, the publication awarded the president “four Pinocchios” for repeatedly making false and misleading statements because “normal business hours” are widely considered to be between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
“A Georgia election official said the change was made in part because some rural county election offices only worked part time during the week, not a full eight-hour day, so the shift to more specific times makes it clear they must be open every weekday for at least eight hours,” fact-checker editor Glenn Kessler reported.
“But, as noted, the law also allows individual counties to set the hours anywhere between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., so the practical effect of the 5 p.m. reference in the law is minimal,” he added.
However, this was still not enough to convince the Biden administration that the Oval Office bearer had made a serious error in judgment.
“The fact checkers will also tell you that this bill does not make it easier for people across the state of Georgia to vote, and that is where he [Biden] has concerns,” Psaki said.