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WaPo: Biden made false claim about Georgia election law

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The Washington Post fact-checking team on Tuesday said that President Joe Biden made a false claim about Georgia’s new election law.

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.

MORE ON WAPO: WaPo reveals source who gave them fake quotes from Trump-Georgia call

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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Boston Celtics Player Legally Changing Name to ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’ to Celebrate U.S. Citizenship

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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is celebrating becoming a U.S. citizen in an incredible way. The 29-year-old athlete from Turkey is having his citizenship oath ceremony Monday, and will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.

Kanter is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mediaite reports “he has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.”

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe the team is “all for” the player’s name change. Kanter’s manager says the player will complete his legal name change to have Kanter become his middle name and Freedom be his new last name at Monday’s ceremony.

“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”

Kanter has already changed his official Twitter account to Enes Kanter FREEDOM with his new last name in all caps. Freedom made waves when he tweeted the following on November 18: Money over Morals for the ‘King’. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [inserted Chinese flag] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”

The tweet included photos of basketball shoes he wore painted with human rights depictions and phrases such as “hey still researching and getting educated?” as well as “I am informed and educated on the situation.”

The statement is with regard to his criticism of LeBron James’ partnership with Nike. “Nike remains one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors as both organizations feed off their partnerships with China” reports Mediaite. Kanter Freedom also made an offer to take Michael Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China in order for the men to “visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes.”

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