Gabriel Sterling, the chief operation officer, and chief financial officer in the office of the Georgia Secretary of State had a warning for President Joe Biden that he penned in an Op-Ed for The Washinton Post published on Thursday.
“Mr. President, your misinformation on Georgia’s voting law, is dangerous,” Gabriel Sterling, the chief operations officer in the Georgia Secretary of State office, said Sterling.
In March, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed Senate Bill 202 into law, enhancing the state’s election integrity. While the law is hailed by conservatives as an important measurement after the controversial 2020 election result that many claimed were manipulated, opponents are voicing their opposition to the law.
Soon after introducing Georgia’s new voting law, President Biden condemned it as a ‘blatant attack’ on voting rights, calling it ‘outrageous,’ and compared to it as “Jim Crow on steroids.”
“This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country, is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience,” Biden said in a statement.
In his Op-Ed, Sterling decoded Biden’s remarks, and said that “the president of the United States and others once again spread lies about what is going on in Georgia.”
The Georgian officer sent another plea message to the current commander-in-chief, saying Biden’s words would “hurt” as they, together with “facts,” have influence. He recalled the death threats that came to the state’s election officials after November 3, when they refused to change the election outcome.
“It is disappointing to see the new president engage in similarly dangerous hyperbole,” said Sterling.
Biden, in his statement, criticized the new legislation for reducing early voting hours, saying “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,” which according to Sterling was a contrast of what the bill says.
“The new legislation does not decrease early voting hours,” Sterling argued. “In fact, early voting hours were expanded by adding an extra mandatory Saturday of early voting and continuing to allow Sunday voting.”
Biden referred to the 98-page law’s prohibition on water and food for voters waiting in line as “a crime,” Sterling quoted and reminded that the state has been outlawing the practice of “providing gifts of any value to voters to reward them for casting a ballot” for years. Additionally, he stated that Delaware also imposes similar laws with the only difference being it does not specify water or what type of rewards could be used to influence voters.
Georgia’s new law, according to Sterling, closes a loophole that has been used in the past. “Notably, the bill allows groups to donate water for poll workers to give out,” he added.
Regarding the photo ID number requirement for absentee ballots, President Biden claimed that it would pose a challenge to “countless voters,” hence violating voting rights, but Sterling denounced the accusation, citing the National Bureau of Economic Research to prove that the mandate will not have any effect on turnout.
He also debunked the argument that the State Election Board has the authority to overturn elections under the constitution, saying the bill itself and Georgia’s law, in general, do not include any element that “gives the election board, let alone the legislature, the power to overturn an election.”
“The law allows the board to remove top elections officials of poorly performing counties after a lengthy review and appeal process,” he explained.
On Biden’s “Jim Crow” reference, the Georgian official wrote: “It is no small wonder how a law, which election experts agree expands voting access to all Georgians, could be compared to the vast historical effort to disenfranchise and oppress Black Americans.”
Sterling again requested a halt to the spreading of “disinformation,” which can ignite violence.
“For the long-term health of our shared democratic republic, let’s turn down the rhetoric, both on the left and the right. Let’s tell the truth. Let’s make elections boring again,” he wrote.