News and Commentary

Joe Biden, Media Claim Georgia Law Prevents Giving Water To Voters In Line. That’s Not True.

   DailyWire.com
U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during the first news conference of his presidency in the East Room of the White House on March 25, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Any attempt to ensure the integrity of the voting process is met with allegations of racism or harm by the Left. The latest example comes again from failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and has been parroted by President Joe Biden and his media supporters.

On Friday, Biden repeated a false talking point from Abrams claiming a new Georgia law prevents people from providing water to voters standing in line waiting to vote.

“It’s an atrocity. The idea, you want any indication, it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency. They pass a law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line, while they’re waiting to vote.  You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote? Give me a break,” Biden claimed.

As National Reviews Dan McLaughlin reported, Biden is wrong. The bill to which Biden is referring states:

No person shall solicit votes [or] distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to [a voter] … This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer…from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to [a voter] waiting in line to vote.

McLaughlin noted that the law applies to a 150-foot radius around polling places or “within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.” He wrote also that the law doesn’t prohibit voters from bringing their own food or beverages to stand in line or ordering food to be delivered. People can also donate food and drinks to voters, it just has to be given to poll workers for general use.

“The president’s claim that ‘You can’t provide water for people about to vote’ is just false. What you cannot do under the new Georgia law is deploy people in National Rifle Association t-shirts and MAGA hats to hand out free Koch-brothers-financed, Federalist Society–branded pizza to voters,” McLaughlin wrote. “In other words, this entire controversy is not about people dropping dead of hunger and thirst on long voting lines at all. It’s about electioneering around the polling place by people looking to advertise that they represent a cause, and who try to influence voters by giving them free stuff. Across the country today, we already have lots of laws against this sort of thing. There is nothing wrong with Georgia trying to limit it.”

McLaughlin noted that other states have similar laws regarding political messages. In Minnesota, for example, there is a ban on approaching voters in line:

No one except an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote or an individual who is conducting exit polling shall stand within 100 feet of the building in which a polling place is located. Minn. Stat. § 204C.06

New York has a law similar to the one in Georgia regarding refreshments:

Any person who… in respect of any election during the hours of voting… gives or provides, or causes to be given or provided, or shall pay, wholly or in part, for any meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision to or for any person, other than [poll workers and other voting officials], except any such meat, drink, tobacco, refreshment or provision having a retail value of less than one dollar, which is given or provided to any person in a polling place without any identification of the person or entity supplying such provisions, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Elec. Law § 17-140

Delaware, Biden’s home state, has a similar law as well:

Whoever…pays, transfers or delivers, or offers…any money, or other valuable thing as a compensation, inducement or reward for the giving or withholding or in any manner influencing the giving or withholding a vote…shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned not less than 1 month nor more than 3 years, or both. 15 Del. C. § 3167

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