President Biden called it “Jim Crow on steroids,” Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game out of Atlanta over it, and the media provided cover for all such rhetoric. And yet, Georgia’s new election law has not suppressed the vote. In fact, the opposite has happened as Georgia has seen record breaking early turnout in the lead up to Tuesday’s primary.
On MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, guest host Garrett Haake observed, “Today marks the last day of what has been a record breaking period of early voting in Georgia.”
Later, correspondent Blayne Alexander gave more context, “Let’s look at those numbers. More than 655,000 people have gone in person to cast a ballot. That's a record breaking number and every day in this three-week period we have seen record breaking numbers. In fact, they have far eclipsed the numbers from 2018 and 2020 in some cases, more than about 150%. Now, since what we saw -- you remember back in June of 2020, that disastrous primary here in Georgia. Since then, we’ve really seen the message of early voting being repeatedly pushed and certainly, these numbers show people are listening.”
While it was good that the Haake and Alexander provided this news, they did not offer any apology or correction for all the lies that were spread about Georgia’s law and as Georgia votes here are some reminders of what was said about the law.
Alexander herself said of the push for corporate boycotts, “Critics are giving these businesses until next week to fulfill a very specific set of demands. Now, of course all of this is in response to that controversial voting law that imposes new ID requirements on absentee voting. But now, critics say that the fight goes far beyond the state of Georgia.”
On CNN, Don Lemon echoed Sen. Raphael Warnock in saying, “they are trying to silence us” while April Ryan dubbed the GOP the “anti-browning party” and claimed “"this is a party that's cheating at the polls.”
And over at MSNBC, Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson also got in on the Jim Crow comparisons, “Well, I say it is, and, I mean, I did grow up under Jim Crow laws. And Jim Crow laws, remember, never said black people couldn't vote because that would have been clearly unconstitutional and illegal and out of bounds. What they were, were laws, on their face, applied to everyone but were designed and enforced to deny voting rights to African Americans. And, you know, if this not a complete and total verbatim repeat of that, it is certainly a very close rhyme.”
Joy Reid made allusions to Apartheid South Africa, “This is the end of democracy in America. This is the beginning of the South — the South Africa strategy. This is minority rule. This is saying we will rule over the objections of the majority of the American people. ... It's probably, kind of, in a way. It’s old school American. It's Jim Crow America.”
A bunch of predictions that were obviously false at the time ended up being false. We shouldn’t hold our breaths for apologies, however.
Here is a transcript for the May 20 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports:
MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports
12:31 PM ET
GARRETT HAAKE: Today marks the last day of what has been a record breaking period of early voting in Georgia. Ahead of a heated primary on Tuesday where former President Trump has endorsed election deniers running against incumbents in Georgia who did not support his attempt to overturn the election results.
Of course, most notably, he’s favoring former Senator David Purdue over Governor Brian Kemp and Representative Jody Hice in the race challenging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Joining us now is NBC’s Blayne Alexander in Atlanta and USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page. Blayne, Trump's endorsements in Georgia have made 2020 the central issue in 2022. But, what’s the state of play?
BLAYNE ALEXANDER: Well Garrett, I’ll start with actually the number of people who are coming out to vote in these elections. So, just look behind me. You can kind of see what we’ve seen here all day at this precinct here in South Fulton County. A steady stream of people coming in ready to cast their ballot and this isn't even Election Day, as you note. We’re talking about early voting. So, this is just one snapshot of what we have seen statewide. Let’s look at those numbers. More than 655,000 people have gone in person to cast a ballot. That's a record breaking number and every day in this three-week period we have seen record breaking numbers.
In fact, they have far eclipsed the numbers from 2018 and 2020 in some cases, more than about 150%. Now, since what we saw -- you remember back in June of 2020, that disastrous primary here in Georgia. Since then, we’ve really seen the message of early voting being repeatedly pushed and certainly, these numbers show people are listening.