OnPolitics: The battle over 2024 has already started
Ann White of Roswell holds protest signs on the North Wing stairs of the Georgia State Capitol building on day 38 of the legislative session in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. "It ain't over yet," said White. "I look forward to going door-to-door working against everybody that voted for (SB 202)." The Georgia state House has passed legislation brought by Republicans that could lead to a sweeping overhaul of state election law. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) (Photo: Alyssa Pointer, AP)
It’s April Fool’s Day but President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure package is no joke.
The far-reaching American Jobs Plan includes spending to repair aging roads and bridges, jump-start transit projects and rebuild school buildings and hospitals. It would also expand electric vehicles, replace all lead pipes and overhaul the nation’s water systems.
It’s Mabinty, with the not-so-funny political news of the day.
I got Georgia on my mind
Voter suppression has again become a concern in Georgia with the passage of Senate Bill 202. Boasted as reform by Republicans and roundly lambasted as suppression by Democrats, the bill passed along party lines and was signed swiftly by Gov. Brian Kemp behind closed doors.
Some of its most controversial components are:
- Additional identification verification requirements
- Optional early voting on Sundays — traditionally a day in which the Black vote spikes during “Souls to the Polls” campaigns
- Shortened absentee ballot request periods
- Reduced runoff election periods during which time get-out-the-vote rallies reach a fever pitch
- A ban on handouts of water and snacks to voters waiting in long lines
“The legislation is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” Fair Fight CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo said, adding it targets Black and minority voters.
Republican supporters of the bill have said it will only strengthen the security of the election and in turn make it easier on election workers, who were swamped in the days following the Nov. 3 presidential race.
On a national level, Biden and other Democrats said Congress must pass voting rights measures that would undo some of the states’ more restrictive changes.
- Democrats and Republicans are battling over voting rights in Congress and at statehouses. Which side will win?
- Fight over filibuster heats up as Democrats and Republicans clash over voting rights
- A new ‘Jim Crow era’:Biden, civil rights leaders slam Georgia election reform
Speaking of voting and elections …
The head of a Florida-based technology company, who has used social media to promote a range of unfounded election fraud claims and was involved with a previous effort to overturn election results in Michigan, has been hired by the Arizona Senate to oversee the recount of 2.1 million general election ballots.
The company, called Cyber Ninjas, will lead a team that includes three other firms as part of a $150,000 contract the Senate has awarded to conduct an unprecedented audit of the election results in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county.
A deleted Twitter account that appears to belong to Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan includes a litany of unsubstantiated allegations about fraud in the last election. He appears to have shared posts by Sidney Powell, an attorney who supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., a prominent proponent of conspiracy theories about the last election.
The Senate said the scope of work includes scanning all of the ballots, a full manual recount of the 2.1 million ballots cast in the election, auditing the registration and votes cast as well as the vote counts and the electronic voting system.
More news to know:
- The Supreme Court unanimously rejected Florida’s arguments in a fisheries dispute over how much river water Georgia consumes.
- The federal government and nonprofits are unveiling ad campaigns to counter vaccine hesitancy, emphasizing educational partnerships at the grassroots level.
- The Supreme Court unanimously sided with Facebook in a case that questioned whether the company’s automated text alerts violated the nation’s 30-year-old ban on robocalls.
Please no April Fool’s pranks this year. —Mabinty
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