A proposal to suspend early voting on Sunday, a popular choice among black voters for church-based “Souls to the Polls” events, was one of the most contentious changes considered in the legislature, but the package signed by Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday instead ended up increasing in-person voting on the weekends.
Republicans, in Georgia and elsewhere, have framed the push to crack down on voting laws as promoting “electoral integrity” and addressing concerns about “widespread voter fraud,” despite the paucity of evidence that it is. a widespread problem.
“Are you literally going to make public policy based on a lie, based on the feeling some people have that things didn’t turn out the way they should have?” Warnock said. “Is this how we do public policy?”
Warnock, who along with fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff, defeated a Republican senator in the runoff in January that followed former President Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in state.
Warnock linked those victories to the recently passed $ 1.9 trillion stimulus deal that was negotiated and passed along partisan lines, and reiterated his calls for the Senate to pass legislation to increase voting access and alter filing if it is necessary.
“The issue of voting rights has to do with democracy itself,” he said. “It is much bigger than any Senate rule.”
Democratic State Representative Park Cannon was arrested after being among a group of protesters gathered outside the governor’s office when Kemp signed the bill into law. Captured video footage she knocked on the door and was later arrested and forcibly taken from outside the governor’s office. Warnock, a pastor, said Cannon is a member of her congregation and that he visited her last night while in detention.
“We all owe him a debt of gratitude in a real sense for standing up,” he said.