Biden Says He’ll Raise Pressure on Voting Rights Restrictions

President Joe Biden said he’ll travel the country to warn Americans that their ballots may go uncounted if Republican state legislatures’ efforts to restrict voting rights are successful.

Biden said Thursday that he’ll “make the case to the American people that this isn’t just about showing identification, that this is who I am when I vote. This isn’t just about whether or not you can provide water for someone standing in line while they’re waiting to vote.”

“This is about who gets to judge whether your vote’s counted after it’s been cast,” he said in remarks at the White House, whispering the line for effect.

After former President Donald Trump falsely claimed that his 2020 election loss was due to widespread fraud, Republican-led legislatures in Georgia, Texas, Florida and other states developed legislation that would restrict early and mail-in voting and otherwise limit both access to the ballot box and assistance for voters.

Georgia’s new law infamously includes a provision that would make it a crime to provide water to people waiting in line to vote.

Democrats have struggled to counter the state efforts. Though they control both chambers of Congress, legislation that would overrule the state laws or otherwise expand voting rights face a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

Some of the state laws, including Georgia’s, also allow state officials to more easily replace county-level election administrators. Critics say the provisions are aimed at officials in majority Black counties that voted overwhelmingly against Trump and helped put Biden in office.

“What these guys are trying to do now, in rough approximation, is say that if we don’t like the way the vote turned out and we control the state legislature, we’re going to say the vote didn’t count. And we’re going to recount,” Biden said. “That’s never happened before. It’s wrong.”

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