The word on the street in Georgia is that the state’s notorious new election law is helping Governor Brian Kemp regain some of the support that he lost in MAGA land by failing to back Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the Peach State.
But don’t mention it to Trump himself, who told Sean Hannity the new law is namby-pamby when it comes to voter suppression. During a Monday-night appearance on Fox News, Trump called the bill “far too weak,” and mocked “the governor and others” for their fear of being “called racist.”
Trump wasn’t very specific, but a couple of weeks ago he issued a statement that made it clear that his view of access to the ballot box is radical:
(The crossed-out words are the name of a poll worker Trump and his allies have maligned; Montellaro didn’t want to contribute to the smear.)
The former president seems to be confused about signature verification, which (a) Georgia used in 2020, his complaints notwithstanding, and (b) is replaced by an actual ID requirement — generally regarded as stricter than a signature match — in the new law. But he’s pretty clear that he thinks only a RINO would retain no-excuse voting by mail — which, in fact, Georgia Republicans created back in 2005, when Trump himself was still a registered Democrat. And his advocacy of an end to “weekend voting” — which means early in-person voting on days when working people can participate — goes beyond what anyone in Georgia was proposing (though one bill did eliminate Sunday voting in a shot at Souls to the Polls events popular at Black churches).
Trump’s meta-message is pretty clear: Respecting voting-rights provisions that benefit the “Democrat Party” is strictly for suckers.
Given his bizarre demonization of voting by mail throughout the 2020 election cycle, and his fear that easier access to the ballot would destroy GOP prospects in the future, it’s not surprising that Trump thinks doing more — and more, and more — to limit the participation of certain voters is a good idea. But more to the point, he wants it firmly established that Brian Kemp is a piker when it comes to aggressively using election laws to screw over the opposition. He’s just “weak.”