The Post‘s team pointed to two similar lines from his Thursday press conference and a written Friday statement criticizing the state’s new law after Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed it, respectively.
From the press conference: “What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick […] deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work.”
From the 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.”
According to a Georgia government website, the state’s polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and if you are in line by 7 p.m. on Election Day, you are allowed to cast your ballot. Citing this information, The Post reported that nothing in the new law alters those rules.
Although, the newspaper noted that the law did make some changes to early voting, pointing to various experts saying the net effect was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.
Ultimately, the conclusion that The Post arrived to for why Biden said the state would “end voting at five o’clock” was likely because the election law ultimately ratified used to say that early “voting shall be conducted during normal business hours”. According to the newspaper, experts said “normal business hours” generally means 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Furthermore, the fact-checking piece points out that the new law, as ratified, specifies it as “beginning at 9:00 AM and ending at 5:00 PM.”
The change, according to a Georgia election official whom The Post cited, was made partially due to some rural county election offices only working part-time during the week, not a full eight-hour day. Specifying times, according to the official, clarifies that they must be open every weekday for at least eight hours.
Significantly, The Post noted that the new law also lets counties set their own hours anywhere between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. More specifically, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Flower, whom the newspaper also cited in its piece, “Counties can have early voting open as long as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at minimum. If you live in a larger metropolitan county, you might not notice a change. For most other counties, you will have an extra weekend day, and your weekday early voting hours will likely be longer.”
Therefore, “the practical effect of the 5 p.m. reference in the law,” the newspaper concluded, “is minimal.”
Biden, University of Georgia political science professor Charles S. Bullock III speculated, probably didn’t get the final version of the legislation, of which Bullock said “there were 25 versions floating around”.
In the end, the newspaper’s fact-checking team gave Biden four “Pinocchios,” which isn’t the highest-order rating on its scale, but is nonetheless: “Whoppers.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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Rep. Matt Gaetz Confronts Speaker McCarthy in Fiery House GOP Meeting
In a closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Thursday morning, tensions flared as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) confronted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), accusing him and his allies of orchestrating an online campaign against him with the help of “MAGA influencers.”
According to reports from Fox News, the exchange was marked by what was described as “fireworks.” Gaetz directly addressed McCarthy, alleging that “MAGA influencers” had been paid to attack him on social media. McCarthy promptly denied the accusation, dismissing Gaetz’s claims.
Speaker McCarthy dismissed Gaetz’s allegations, indicating that he had no intention of engaging in such activities. In the same meeting, another source revealed that McCarthy questioned Gaetz’s commitment to the GOP’s goals, pointing out that he was personally dedicating his efforts to allocate $5 million to support GOP candidates and members with the aim of strengthening their majority in the near future. McCarthy’s remark seemed to challenge Gaetz regarding his contributions toward achieving a stronger Republican majority.
In response to Gaetz’s allegations, some members of the GOP caucus expressed frustration. According to a second source, one lawmaker told Gaetz to “f— off,” while another referred to him as a “scumbag,” according to reports.
Gaetz confirmed the confrontation to reporters as he exited the meeting, explaining, “I asked him whether or not he was paying those influencers to post negative things about me online.” He also confirmed McCarthy’s response, saying, “Yeah, that is what he said.”
When asked about his feelings toward McCarthy during and after the exchange, Gaetz remarked, “My blood pressure is like 120 over 80. So I’m feeling great.”
A spokesperson for Speaker McCarthy categorically denied any involvement in the alleged online campaign, attributing it to a Democrat-backed entity. In support of this claim, Fox News Digital reportedly obtained a screenshot of a cease-and-desist email sent by McCarthy’s outside lawyer to the individuals allegedly behind the campaign.
Furthermore, the email asserted that the campaign falsely claimed to act on behalf of Speaker McCarthy and his affiliated entities and warned of legal consequences if the actions continued.
The exchange in the House GOP meeting underscores the ongoing tension between Gaetz and McCarthy. Gaetz has been threatening to force a House-wide vote on McCarthy’s speakership, alleging violations of a deal struck to secure McCarthy’s election as Speaker in January.
Under the terms of that compromise, McCarthy agreed to allow any lawmaker to trigger a vote on his removal, known as a “motion to vacate.” While Gaetz had hinted at pursuing such a motion earlier in the week, he sidestepped questions on the matter during the recent meeting with reporters.
In the midst of this contentious atmosphere, Gaetz emphasized his current focus on advancing single-subject spending bills, deflecting inquiries regarding the motion to vacate and maintaining his dedication to legislative efforts.
The confrontation between Gaetz and McCarthy underscores the complex dynamics within the Republican caucus as it navigates internal divisions and confronts ongoing challenges on Capitol Hill.
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