ATLANTA - Republicans were on the defensive on Tuesday ahead of a trip by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the need for federal legislation to protect the right to vote.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told reporters Tuesday morning the voting reform measures pushed by the Democrats are nothing more than an attempt to rig elections to favor democrats.
"HR 1 and HR 4 would be a federal takeover of elections. What it would do is allow for same-day registration and do away with photo ID, which would allow anyone to vote on Election Day, which opens the door for non-citizen voting, and we want to make sure the only people voting in our elections are American citizens," said Raffensburger.
Georgia has been the epicenter of debate on voting rights after Gov. Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202 into law. The GOP-sponsored bill was in response to the 2020 election which saw the state swing for Biden over then-President Donald Trump and vote in two Democratic US Senators during a runoff. Supporters of the bill said it helps to intensify the integrity of voting in the state while some see it as a form of voter suppression against minority groups.
Later in the afternoon, Kemp shared his frustrations about Biden’s support of the reform bills that has stalled in the Senate.
He cited how national criticism of Georgia’s own reform law ultimately cost the state the MLB All-Star game last summer and cost small businesses $100 million in lost revenue.
He and Raffensperger both said too much is at stake to support what the president is proposing for future elections.
"Make no mistake that Georgia is ground zero for the Biden-Harris assault on integrity as well as attempts to federalize everything from how hard-working Georgians run their businesses to what our kids are taught in school to how we run elections," said Kemp.
Kemp said he will continue to fight the federal lawsuit against SB 202 and is confident Georgia’s laws will hold up in court in spite of the support from the president, the vice president and Stacy Abrams, the Democrat candidate who is campaigning "a second time" to try to defeat the governor.
Kemp’s GOP challengers in the gubernatorial race this year also were quick to criticize the president and vice president.
Former US Senator David Perdue took to Twitter shortly after the top two federal executives left Atlanta writing:
"Joe Biden’s incoherent rambling isn’t going to convince Georgians to buy into his voter suppression lies. Georgians want safe and secure elections – not a federal government takeover designed to give Democrats one-party control.
"The 2020 election in Georgia was a total disaster because Brian Kemp caved to Stacey Abrams and her radical demands that changed the system. Now, Joe Biden is trying to do to America what Brian Kemp let Stacey Abrams do to Georgia.
"Joe Biden’s speech today was just another example of how we would be better off if Donald Trump was still President."
Former State Representative Vernon Jones criticized Biden for being out of touch with the Black community writing on Twitter:
"With @staceyabrams & @SenatorWarnock hiding from @JoeBiden in Atlanta today, it’s obvious he’s the past and not the future. The sun is rapidly going down on Joe. Democrat presidential candidates are lining up for the 2024 road to the Whitehouse. Dems Iowa train starts in 2022!
"@JoeBiden continues to lie about his civil rights ‘no’ record and get a pass frm liberal media & civil rights groups. He did it again today in Atlanta.
"’You think I'm kidding, man. (Laughter.) It seems like yesterday the first time I got arrested. Anyway—(laughter).’"