Exclusive: 21 black leaders denounce the left’s lies about Georgia election law

Twenty-one civil rights leaders and prominent black conservatives defended Georgia’s new election law in a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, rejecting opponents’ comparisons to Jim Crow laws.

“It has become clear that even well-intentioned critics of the law simply have no idea what the law is,” the black leaders write in the letter, adding:

It is clear they have no idea how favorably Georgia’s new law compares with most other states—including President Biden’s home state of Delaware. And it is clear they have no idea that a majority of black voters across the country support the key provision under attack by critics—the simple requirement that voters be able to identify themselves when voting. This is the same simple requirement needed to pick up baseball tickets or board a plane—activities hardly as important as voting.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday titled “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote.” Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who lost the last governor’s race in Georgia, is among those scheduled to testify against the state’s new voting law.

President Joe Biden—who represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate for 36 years—recently referred to the Georgia law as “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”

Factually, the term Jim Crow laws refers to state and local laws in the segregated South that existed from after the Civil War until at least the mid-1960s.

The Georgia law requires voters to present identification in submitting absentee ballots, such as a driver’s license number; codifies ballot drop boxes; and expands weekend voting. It slightly reduces the number of days for early voting from 19 to 17 and gives voters an earlier deadline to mail absentee ballots.

Signatories from Georgia include the Rev. Alveda King, niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and head of Alveda King Ministries; Michael Lancaster, director of the Frederick Douglass Foundation; and Vernon Jones, who, like King, is a former Georgia state representative.

Also among the 21 signers is Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James, who grew up amid segregation. (The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.)

“They have tarred with the brush of racism people whose only sin is a desire for confidence in our elections,” the black leaders’ open letter says.

Their letter takes exception to mischaracterizations of the Georgia law, which they call a “proper, honest step in reforming the election process”:

To compare today’s policy differences with the literal life and death struggle of previous generations is to diminish those heroes’ struggle, sacrifice, and enormous accomplishments. It is past time for today’s generation to come together in an honest, civil, and straightforward way to protect these shared values of voter access and election integrity. It should be easy to vote and hard to cheat.

Jim Crow laws restricting voting required poll taxes or arbitrary “tests” for black voters before they could cast a ballot, including requiring them to guess accurately the number of jelly beans in a jar.

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