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Georgia passes restrictive voting law

African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop Reginald Jackson announces a boycott of Coca Cola Co. products outside the Georgia Capitol on Thursday in Atlanta. Jackson says Coca Cola and other large Georgia companies haven't done enough to oppose restri

State lawmakers have passed a bill, quickly signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp, that makes it drastically more hard for people to vote, in ways that will disproportionately affect poor voters and people of color.

"This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century", Biden said in his statement.

Georgia was at the heart of false voter fraud claims during the 2020 election.

Other Republican-controlled state legislatures are pursuing voting restrictions in key battleground states, including Florida and Arizona, after former President Donald Trump repeatedly blamed his loss to Biden on massive voter fraud without evidence.

The Republican changes to voting law in Georgia follow record-breaking turnout for Democratic victories in the presidential contest and two U.S. Senate runoffs in the once reliably red state.

The bill was proposed and supported fully by Georgia Republicans, including all of Hall County's delegation, while Georgia Democrats were staunchly opposed.

"Among the outrageous parts of this new state law, it ends voting hours early so working people can't cast their vote after their shift is over", Biden said of the Georgia statute. "As governor, I won't back down from keeping Georgia elections secure, accessible, and fair".

Several demonstrators rallied at the state capitol as he signed the new legislation in a closed-door session. The video shows two White officers handcuffing Ms Cannon.

When Cannon knocks on Kemp's door, she is arrested by Capitol police. U.S. President Joe Biden, then a candidate, won Georgia, flipping the state after almost two decades.

From passage of the #SB202 voter suppression bill targeted at Black and brown voters to the arrest of a Black legislator who was advocating for the voting rights of her constituents, today was a reminder of Georgia's dark past. "I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression".

Democrats in the state and on the national scene decry it as a naked abuse of power that aims to limit minority and young voters' access to the ballot. Georgia's new, 98-page law makes numerous changes to how elections will be administered, including a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail. During his press conference Thursday, President Biden said the new law "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle".

Biden also voiced his strongest challenge to the legislative filibuster, signaling that he could be persuaded to endorse dramatic changes to the Senate procedure if it impedes the critical pieces of his agenda, potentially including voting rights.

Does the bill eliminate Sunday voting? .

Can the state take over election offices?

It will go from nine weeks to four weeks - shortening the time for early and mail in voting.

Democrats on Friday seized on new voting restrictions in Georgia to focus attention on the fight to overhaul federal election laws, setting up a slow-building standoff that carries echoes of the civil rights battles of a half-century ago.

Distinguishing GOP voters from their party's elected officials, Biden said the Republican voters whom he knows "find this despicable", even if political leaders don't, calling the efforts "un-American" and "sick".

That's because, while Democrats now hold slim majorities in both chambers of the US Congress, Republicans dominate statehouses across the country.

Unified control means that what happened in Georgia - where a law quickly passes both chambers and gets signed by the governor - can easily be replicated.

President Joe Biden on Friday called a sweeping new Georgia law restricting voting access, passed by the state's Republican-led legislature, an "atrocity", speaking to reporters as left the White House for Delaware.

Thus far, Republican opposition in the US Senate has stymied that effort.