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Georgia Republicans push a draconian bill to criminalize giving food and water to people in voting lines

March 4, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

On Monday, the GOP-controlled Georgia House passed, by a 97-72 margin, a voter suppression bill that would greatly restrict absentee voting, early voting, weekend voting and ballot drop boxes in that state. And on top of that, North Carolina law professor Carissa Byrne Hessick notes in a Twitter thread, the bill “makes it a crime to give food or water to anyone standing in line to vote.”

Hessick, who teaches criminal law at the University of North Carolina, tweets, “The idea that this should be a crime is completely outrageous.”

The bill states that at voting places, “No person shall….. give, offer to give or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector.”

Hessick recalls that on Oct. 19, she tweeted about people who “shared snacks and water” with voters who were waiting in line:

But in this week’s thread, Hessick notes, that activity would be illegal under the voter suppression bill that just passed in the Georgia House.

Georgia Republicans have been claiming that their bill is designed to protect election security, but Hessick stresses that it isn’t about anything other than voter suppression.

“There’s no ‘election security’ argument for this, folks,” the law professor argues. “Just overcriminalization and trying to keep people from voting.”

Here are some responses to Hessick’s thread:

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