After “Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed the Republican-backed ‘Election Integrity Act of 2021,’ or SB 202, into law,” Democrats collapsed into a furious spiral of outrage.
Elizabeth Warren described SB 202 as a “despicable voter suppression bill,” which will “take Georgia back to Jim Crow.” MSNBC’s Joy Reid claimed that the “Georgia Jim Crow law” would suppress Democratic votes, while DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison argued that the “GOP is hellbent on ushering in Jim Crow 2.0.”
Firstly, it’s important to recognize that the Election Integrity Act of 2021 is not like Jim Crow. In fact, it’s nothing like Jim Crow, the laws imposed by Democrats in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which mandated the complete racial segregation of Southern states.
Beyond the undeniable historical fact that arguing that this bill is the “new Jim Crow” is an overwrought and intellectually offensive act of partisan hyperbole, it’s even more important to understand the foundation of bigotry on which the Democrats’ routine presumption of racism is built.
The most impactful change at the center of Georgia’s Election Integrity Act is that the state will now require that voters provide valid identification — in the form of a driver’s license or other state-recognized documentation — before they are able to cast their mail-in-ballot. Given that we require identification for a wide array of activities — such as driving a car, boarding a plane, or purchasing a firearm — the notion that identification is also required to vote is as reasonable an expectation as is possible.