There is so much junk flying around about the new Georgia voter ID law that I thought it would be a great time to sort through the clutter and non-sense that is being slung like so much mashed potatoes at a high school cafeteria food fight. In fact, if you listen to the media, you would think that the state is reinstituting Poll Taxes or Voting Literacy Tests. The truth, however, is far less dramatic, and honestly, is so much ado about nothing, that it's a shame it's being used in the way it is. A shame, but not a surprise.
So let's start here:
Myth #1: This new law forces voter ID on all voters in the state.
Reality #1: This law only changes ID rules for absentee or mail in ballots. Georgia already has a Voter ID law in place for voting in person, and the mail in ballots were used as a means to circumvent this process. They are simply closing the loophole that was used in the last election.
It also makes sense to secure the singularly most vulnerable point in the voting system. Many countries around the world, particularly in Europe and other Western Democracies, have banned and outlawed mail in voting particularly due to it's lack of integrity. So why is it that one party in America is pushing so hard for something that not only America, but the rest of the civilized world has determined to be flawed? You can say that they have no intention of cheating, but if so, then what they're pushing for makes no sense.
Myth #2: This new law makes mail in voting illegal. Reality #2: No, it does not. It does limit the number of drop off points for mail in and absentee ballots, but it does not eliminate them.
Some will say that this is tantamount to outlawing the practice without doing so overtly, but that missed the forest for the trees. Prior to the 2020 election there were ZERO drop off points, and during the 2020 election, it was difficult for the state to properly provide oversight and security for so many of them. They will still be available, but the state will work to keep the number to a much more manageable total.
Myth #3: This law is designed to prevent Black Americans from voting.
Reality #3: While I applaud the political ingenuity of this ad-hominen, the facts simply do not line up behind the accusation.
They first tried to say that this voting law restricted voting on Sunday, because that's when the traditionally black churches hold their "Souls to the Polls" drives, but that turned out to be wrong as the law forced polls to be open on 2 Saturdays per month and gave them the freedom to be open on all Sunday's. In other words, each county can run the polls both Saturday and Sunday with no restrictions whatsoever.
Next, they tried to say that because the law prohibits NGOs and VOTER SUPPORT groups from handing out snacks and water while the voter's wait, it was suppressing the black vote because "grandma can't stand out there all day." Well, first, this law increased the number of poll workers required in order to alleviate that concern, and second, it gave the polls the right to have water dispensers available for voters as long as it is not connected to any outside group. In other words, they said it was a legitimate concern and gave the counties the right to deal with it in a way that both meets the need and upholds the integrity of the election.
Myth #4: Black Americans struggle to get the necessary ID to vote.
Reality #4: Wow, where do I even start with this... First, the entire premise of this assertion is blatantly racist, and second, it's simply untrue, especially in Georgia. First of all, a state ID in Georgia is free, yep, free. This eliminates the cost barrier for everyone, though it's hardly a cost barrier in Texas as a four year state ID card cost $16 and $6 for anyone over the age of 59. Wow, that's really super restrictive, right?
Now for the numbers, 97% of all Georgia residents posses either a driver's license or state ID card. You read that right, 97%. That means that only 3% of the state's population will have to go and get a FREE ID card. Seriously, unless you are talking about a non-sheltered homeless person who doesn't have a shelter address or affidavit to establish residency (I notarize them all the time), there is no reason to believe that the requirement will prevent anyone from showing an ID at the time of voting.
Also, it should be noted that this replaces the far more controversial law (on both sides) of signature confirmation. No one liked that law, it didn't work, and now they've put something in place that is far more effective and realistic. They should be applauded for it. But what about the Georgia voters? Astoundingly, 74% support the measure, with 63% of black voters supporting it, and 89% of those making UNDER $25,000 per year. In other words, the people who everyone keeps claiming will be disenfranchised by this are overwhelmingly in support of it. Why? Because they know that it keeps those with money in their pockets from buying votes or from stuffing the ballot box. They want their votes to count, and they know that this is the most effective method to do so. Most other representative governments have an ID requirement to vote, so we're not alone in stating it.
So THIS is what the MLB and all of these other companies are protesting? The protection of the integrity of the vote and making sure that each vote actually matters? They're protesting for 3% of the population who likely doesn't vote anyway (because we know that only about half of registered voters even bother)?
You see, this is what happens when you let emotionalism and emotive arguments get to you. They find one or two poster ready cases (among millions) and highlight them as poor downtrodden disenfranchised people who are in desperate need of our help. They tug and pull at your heartstrings by manipulating the argument with emotion and "how would you FEEL if you were in that 3%?" Well, you'd probably feel crappy because you want to vote. But have they ever stopped to ask if that 3% even does vote? Are they going to go down to the homeless camp and get the mentally ill portion of their population that doesn't have ID (after 20+ years in social services I think I can make that statement) and bring them to the polls to vote, all while NOT attempting to influence their vote in any way?
Yeah, I kinda doubt it too.
You see, you can make anything sound like the end of the world if you play on people emotions and only present part of the facts. But hey, we've seen that before, yet to say where is to begin a series of name calling and political rhetoric that I don't want to lower myself to. Suffice it to say that if you pick up an older history book (read accurate history book), you'll find the correlations yourself.
Manipulating of people emotional state to meet a political end is a bad tactic, no matter who uses it. It is because when logic and reason take over, the emotive arguments, which seemed so just and righteous at the beginning, disappear like morning mist in the rising sun.
The integrity and confidence in the voting system is critically important. It cannot be understated. This IS something that needs to be fixed so that every American knows that their vote counts in their state.
It's not complicated, but it is hard, especially when there is a group out there who doesn't appear to want transparency and accountability. I'll leave it up to you to determine why that it.