Georgia voter suppression bill reaching new lows

Conor Bartol, Starch Advocate for Potatoes

Illustration by Kiara Paninos.

Georgia lawmakers are facing intense criticism this week for another voter suppression bill. The last one was lambasted for being a tool to prevent people from voting, even going so far as to outlaw giving food or water to voters waiting in line. This new bill, however, goes even further.

The bill would make a variety of seemingly arbitrary tasks necessary for all voters, including doing a limbo, handstand, cartwheel and backflip. Georgia legislators claimed this is necessary to ensure that anyone who wants to vote “is so committed to the democratic process that they will work hard just to reach the ballot.”

The bill also states that, since “any conversation could lead to voter intimidation,” the polls should be completely silent on Election Day, except for one man with a bullhorn circling the polling station and yelling at people to be quiet.

Other regulations are currently being considered, including staring contests between voters (loser goes to the back of the line); no bathroom breaks (the “hold your pee and hold your spot” rule); having one ballot and pen per fifty people and seeing who gets to it first; a game of riddles; blindfolding voters and letting them play a game of “pin the tail on the preferred candidate”; and something ominously called “the pit.”

Activists and some members of the Georgia Senate have called the new bill “a blatant attack on voters” and “insane … absurd beyond belief.” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp responded by saying that “anyone who doesn’t support this bill is just jealous because they can’t do a backflip. Check this out, nerds!” Kemp then attempted a backflip, but landed face-first on the ground and sustained several minor injuries.

Following this, some legislators suggested amending the bill with exceptions for certain elected officials.