When Criticizing Georgia, Biden Told a 'Whopper'

State isn't restricting voting hours, writes Glenn Kessler, no matter what the president says
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2021 1:52 PM CDT
Fact-Checker Accuses Biden of 'Whopper' on Georgia
President Biden speaks at the White House on March 29.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A president spreading tall tales about an election? The Fact Checker blog of the Washington Post says it's happening, and in this case the president is Joe Biden. The blog by Glenn Kessler gives Biden a four-Pinocchio rating—that translates to "whopper"—for statements he made about new election rules in Georgia. "It's sick … deciding that you’re going to end voting at 5 o'clock when working people are just getting off work," Biden said at his first press conference. And a day later in a statement: "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." Except the Georgia law doesn't do that, explains Kessler as he unpacks the issue.

"You can criticize the bill for many things, but I don’t think you can criticize it for reducing the hours you can vote," says University of Georgia political scientist Charles S. Bullock III. For one thing, polling places in the state are open from 7am to 7pm on Election Day, and the law doesn't change that at all. On early voting, the law does stipulate that ballots can be cast from 9am to 5pm, but it also gives counties the option to stay open later; the 9-to-5 line was more of a way to ensure that voting could take place a minimum of eight hours on every weekday. All in all, the new law actually expands the amount of time people can vote, because it also makes weekend hours mandatory for early voting, concludes Kessler. It's possible Biden got bad information based on earlier versions of the legislation, but repeating it on consecutive days is inexcusable, he writes. (More President Biden stories.)

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