President Biden said that Georgia needs to “smarten up” to avoid businesses leaving the state over its new voting legislation.
“It is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are,” the president told reporters Tuesday.
“There’s another side to it too. When they in fact move out of Georgia, people who need help most, people who are making hourly wages, sometimes get hurt the most,” Biden said.
He said he supports however businesses decide to protest the law. “I think it’s a very tough decision for a corporation to make or group to make, I respect them when they make that judgment, I support whatever judgment they make. The best way to deal with this is for Georgia and other states to smarten up. Stop it, stop it,” he said.
Last week, Major League Baseball announced it would pull its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, and before that Biden said he would “strongly support” players pushing to move the game.
“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that,” Biden told ESPN last week. “People look to them. They’re leaders. The very people who are victimized the most are the leaders in these various sports.”
Other corporations issued statements condemning the new legislation, including Coca-Cola, J.P. Morgan and Delta.
Georgia enacted sweeping election reform last week that required voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification, limited ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters, expanded early voting days, and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The legislation barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line within 150 feet.
The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature. It states that the General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state. It also shortens run-offs from nine weeks to four.
Last month, Biden said the new voting law in Georgia would end voting at 5 p.m., making it difficult for people working. The Washington Post, however, gave that claim “four Pinocchios,” because that section of the law gives counties the option to extend voting hours.