Georgia Governor Brian Kemp defended his state’s controversial new voting legislation despite significant backlash.
“I’m glad to deal with it,” Kemp said of the backlash, the most high profile of which came from corporations like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola. “If they want to have a debate about the merits and the facts of the bill, then we should do that.”
“I would encourage these CEOs to look at other states that they’re doing business in and compare what the real facts are to Georgia,” he added.
Georgia has made headlines in recent days after GOP lawmakers passed legislation that significantly curbs voting rights, including stricter identification requirements and a measure that makes it a misdemeanor to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.
The state was soon served with a lawsuit filed by the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, Inc.
“These provisions lack any justification for their burdensome and discriminatory effects on voting,” reads the lawsuit. “Instead, they represent a hodgepodge of unnecessary restrictions that target almost every aspect of the voting process but serve no legitimate purpose or compelling state interest other than to make absentee, early, and election-day voting more difficult — especially for minority voters.”
Delta CEO Ed Bastian in a statement called the new law “unacceptable.”
“After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong,” Bastian said in a staff memo Wednesday morning.