No snacks, no vote?

Over the past several days I’ve tried to learn everything about the new “sweeping” Georgia election law, called Jim Crow by some Democrats and an expansion of voting rights by some Republicans.

As usual, the truth lies between.

A loong line of (white) voters. (Photo: The New York Times)

The best overview of the new law was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but I got locked out after a few views and before I finished my research.

So I will write about the aspect most singled out by journalists, usually described as banning serving water, drinks or snacks to anyone waiting in line to vote.

Why would they do that?, a reasonable person would ask.

“It’s racist!,” an unreasonable person would reply, but I will get back to that.

The “reasoning” behind the bill is not to prevent voters from eating or drinking, but to prevent electioneering on the part of the server.

Most jurisdictions prohibit electioneering near the polls.

 In Philly, the only time I was offered a snack was in 2008, when I was standing in an usually long line to vote for Barack Obama. His volunteers were offering water and snacks. They were wearing Obama T-shirts, but they were more than 50 feet from the polls.

Let me ask you something. Would someone there to vote for John McCain have changed his vote because an Obama operative handed him a Famous Amos cookie?

The notion is ridiculous.

But OK — free snacks have been banned.

How is it racist?

You have to follow the bouncing ball. Long lines are more likely to happen in Black neighborhoods, it is said, where people might get too hungry to stand in line and would leave without voting.

That’s the argument. You can buy it, or reject it.

It for sure is not the most important change to the law, but it was the easiest for most of the media to deal with.

Perhaps I will be able to get accurate information on other aspects of the law in the future.

26 thoughts on “No snacks, no vote?”

  1. Perhaps, Stu, it’s time to modify Mark Twain’s old expression of, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics” to: :”There are lies, damned lies, and Voter Laws.”

    As you have pointed out in many past memes – the use of “racist” is getting far out of hand. On the other hand, if it gets overused, maybe it will finally wear itself out.- like “Whatsupp?” But it won’t happen fast enough, or course.

    Nonetheless, we eagerly await your Vote Foodie update.

  2. In the Philadelphia City Charter, any officer taking something of value is a reason for charges or dismissal so I have always spoken out against the cookie bribe of Organized Crime. To attempt to understand this incessant need to placate some individual rights as opposed to everyone’s rights has pushed the limits of plain common sense. Those in leadership have seen fit to accept the outcry of any group or even single individuals to implement change that is not only unneeded but places a cost on it and man-hours for its implementation. We must expand one of our least used departments and give them the power of a Monte Python to research every possible instituted racial affront to intimate a voting wait line with any cookie, ben and jerry ice cream or Asian food. If there is a question that in any way may cause a ballot to be invalidated because of food stains or smudges on a voting machine then section B of the new voting section of the act page 545 must be addressed immediately by the woke sub-committee.

  3. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    You and readers may be interested in some background (from the National Constitution Center) on how the states define voter qualifications and regulate voting.


    This is not to say, of course, that every state law on this subject is to be recommended. But, in accordance with the U.S. constitution, the states do define the basics of voter qualifications. Partly in consequence, we have such a decentralized voting system that it would be very difficult to run nation-wide electoral fraud.

    Its an interesting development that state Governors are talking back to the President. Since Congress has tied itself up in partisan conflicts and dysfunction, it appears that some power has shifted to the states. “Division of powers” seems to be working.

    Thanks for your good efforts to get at the facts of the new Georgia law. In the established media we seem to be getting more heat than light.

    H.G. Callaway

    1. One aspect of HR1 I have read would talk voting rules away from states, but I am not certain asI can’t find a nonpartisan source. Thanks for the link that I will check.

  4. Chag sameach
    From what I gathered and remember, HR 1, I believe is the proposed election law passed by the House. If a simple majority is need to pass in the Senate, then we will have a new law. If it needs 60% (?) to pass, then I’ll get back to you.
    The Georgia bill is a bit silly in points. As Tom pointed out, the Monty Python legislative branch would do well enforcing the new law. Or to quote Curly from the Three Stooges, “WOO,Woo,Woo”!
    Whatever happened to electing people that actually represented the American voters ? When serious minded statesmen sat down and negotiated laws that would benefit all of America ?
    Sorry, showing my age…..

      1. HAPPY SUNDAY !!!
        I’ve been aware of HR 1 for several years. The dims wanted it and our boy “turtle neck” said that it would never come out of senate committee. Now, congress doesn’t have that problem, because we gave away EVERYTHING ! The House, Senate and the White House !
        I can hardly wait for the results of the mid-term election. Do we give them even more, or do the upset dims and liberals join us and start cleaning up the SWAMP !?!
        Happy Easter to you and yours,

      2. I will look at this, Tom, but Heritage tilts right. The Brennan Center, which tilts left, has an analysis. I don’t trust either to be objective.

  5. Why is no one outraged that people need to stand in such long lines to have their vote? More voting machines, problem solved.

  6. This was in the liberal Inky this morning.
    It’a a journalist opinion. There’s no link so, the complete article.
    You can do a wiki check of H.R.1 and read the similarities.
    Personaly we will never know everything in the bill just like Biden and Nancy and Chuck. Only a few will. Remember that’s the point: “…after it passes…” Pelosi once smilingly noted.
    I know enough to know the dems want power forever. Let the states control the elections through their legislators. That’s the Constitution.

    Biden’s indictment of his party’s filibuster hypocrisy

    MARC A. THIESSEN @marcthiessen

    Democrats will use a filibuster-free Senate to build a firewall against the inevitable conservative backlash to their radical agenda, writes Marc Thiessen. AP

    At his first news conference since taking office, President Joe Biden issued a scathing, if unintentional, indictment of his own party’s hypocrisy when it comes to getting rid of the Senate filibuster. Biden noted Thursday that between 1917 and 1971 “there were a total of 58 motions to break the filibuster” but “last year alone, there were five times that many.” This was proof, he said, that the filibuster was being “abused in a gigantic way.”

    I’m sorry, who exactly launched all those unprecedented filibusters last year? Democrats.

    So, let’s get this straight: By Biden’s own admission, Democrats abused the filibuster to obstruct President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda. And now, Biden wants to use his own party’s “gigantic” filibuster abuse as justification to eliminate or restrict it when Republicans are in the minority — even though there has not yet been a single Republican-led filibuster since he was elected?

    This is sheer hypocrisy. Where was this urgency to “reform” the filibuster when Democrats were using it to block funding for Trump’s border wall, block COVID-19 relief, block police reform, block legislation forcing “sanctuary cities” to cooperate with federal officials, and block legislation to protect unborn human life?

    Just the threat of a Democratic filibuster stopped the GOP majority from even taking immigration reform, lawsuit reforms, health-care reform, budget cuts, expanded gun rights, permanent tax cuts, right-towork laws, and defunding Planned Parenthood to the Senate floor.

    But now the simple prospect of Republicans doing the same thing to Biden is such an outrage that Democrats are willing to blow up the Senate guardrails protecting minority party rights to ram through their radical legislative agenda?

    Even in the face of the Democrats’ unprecedented obstruction, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused Trump’s repeated entreaties to get rid of the legislative filibuster. Why? Because, McConnell said, “we recognize what everyone should recognize — there are no permanent victories in politics.”

    McConnell understood that the GOP would be in the minority again someday — and protecting the right of the minority to block or delay legislation was more important than any legislative victories that filibuster elimination would enable. “No Republican has any trouble imagining the laundry list of socialist policies that 51 Senate Democrats would happily inflict on Middle America in a filibusterfree Senate,” McConnell said.

    Trump argued that Republicans might as well eliminate the filibuster, since Democrats would get rid of it as soon as they won back control of the Senate. Now Democrats are pushing to prove Trump right. Doing so will only fuel antiestablishment anger inside the GOP and strengthen Trump going into 2024. And, as the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus so ably explained, if Republicans regain power in 2024, a filibusterfree Senate will allow them to unleash an “apocalypse” — enacting all the legislation Democrats filibustered under Trump and more with a simple majority vote.

    Why can’t Democrats seem to understand this? Why are they being so shortsighted? The answer, I believe, is twofold.

    First, they don’t plan to let Republicans regain power. Democrats will use a filibuster-free Senate to build a firewall against the inevitable conservative backlash to their radical agenda. They will pack the Senate by making the District of Columbia a state, adding two more safe Democratic Senate seats. They will pack the House by expanding the size of the lower chamber. Because House seats are apportioned by population, populous blue states would gain the most — allowing Democrats to bolster their narrow House majority.

    And Democrats will pass a sweeping federal election law — HR 1 — with provisions that include mandating automatic and same-day voter registration, banning voter ID laws, compelling states to count votes cast in the wrong precincts, and prohibiting election officials from reviewing and removing ineligible voters from the rolls.

    Unhindered by the filibuster, Democrats will also pack the Supreme Court and install an activist liberal majority that will protect their constitutional overreach.

    Democrats are confident that these steps will put the White House and congressional majorities out of GOP reach. But if by some chance Republicans did regain power, Democrats know that many of their legislative victories will be irreversible.

    There is no precedent for revoking statehood or reducing the size of the House. New Supreme Court justices will serve for life. And Democrats also understand that government is a one-way ratchet. If they pass single-payer health care, expand the welfare state, or enact some version of the Green New Deal, these programs will never be dismantled. Just look at Obamacare. More than a decade later, despite unified GOP control of government under Trump, Republicans were unable to repeal it.

    This is why Democrats are so shamelessly pushing to eliminate the filibuster — because it will allow them to irreversibly transform our country and make it nearly impossible for Republicans to win back power.

    Marc Thiessen writes a twice-weekly column for the Washington Post on foreign and domestic policy. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

        1. Vince – your comment reminds me of the old joke about Perfection…

          There were 3 Perfect People left in the world, and one of them died 2,000 years ago. So that leaves you and me. And then sometimes I wonder about you. LoL!!

  7. Only in American could the simple process of placing and counting a vote be so screwed up. Rube Goldberg couldn’t devise a more convoluted process. Obviously, there is some truth to the fears of electioneering (i.e., by giving people in line water, etc.), otherwise why are the liquor stores closed on election day? (Answer: because pols would buy votes with bottles of booze.)

    I learned a long time ago that if you are to have a real honest opinion on anything, then you MUST do some research. A lot of research is even better. How do I know this to be true ? Simply put, I held credentials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in code enforcement. To earn your license in Jersey, you must take college level courses. Some day, Pennsy will catch up. In doing plan review or any aspect of challenging other professionals, be them Architect or Engineer, you better be right. That only comes about by knowing your work and also, knowing the codes. In the code books, if you stop looking for an answer on the first hit, you are in trouble. Research will give accurate results. Of course, an engineering degree doesn’t hurt, either.
    The point of my ramblings is this. Research Georgia’s H.B. 531 and U.S. House HR 1. Don’t place value on gossip. Georgia’s law certainly upset the dimocrats, but also made voting more consistent statewide. The Congressional bill is not that. The few items of improvement are drastically overshadowed by the the underhanded work of the dims.

    1. I used to be an Investigator for the city Revenue Dept. I passed the L&I Code Enforcement test (#2). I was offered a position, but when I learned I had to drive my own car (then a 2009 370Z) I declined. At least in Revenue, we had rental cars.

      1. Keith,
        We may have crossed paths back then. I got hired by PWD. If it would have been L & I, I wouldn’t have bothered to unpack. Like I said above. I was licensed in Jersey, which was recognized by every state in the union. That plus an undergrad in engineering would have made me the boss up on Rising Sun Ave.
        Other than people with degrees, but no “on the job” training, and a handful of inspectors with a few certs, they had a huge problem. But that’s Philly.
        Ever wonder why people die on construction sites ?
        You were better off in revenue, except for the pay bump.

  9. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu & readers,

    Here is a link to one of several Reuters stories on the new Georgia state election law:

    There is a lot about the various complaints, but the account of the law itself seems fair and objective.

    Arguments about voter qualifications go back to the early republic –when the voting qualifications were broadened and property qualifications generally rejected. (This resulted in the most democratic voting system in the world.) At the time, the states aimed to increase their own power in the federal government and escape the domination of the colonial era patriot-lawyers who generally ran the show. (John Adams, elected in 1796, Thomas Jefferson, 1800; 1804, James Madison, 1808; 1812; James Monroe, 1816; 1820, J.Q. Adams 1824). All of this broadening of the electorate culminated in the election of “western, populist” (Democrat) Andrew Jackson in 1828. Generally, in that election, the western and southern states combined against (the northeast and) the candidacy of the sitting President, John Quincy Adams –the son of John Adams.

    After two terms in office, Jackson was succeeded by Martin van Buren (Jackson’s 2nd V.P.) of New York –who was a major organizer of the new version of the Democratic party. Van Buren, by the way, was our first “ethnic” President. He came from the old New York Dutch settlement, and Dutch was his first language. In consequence he spoke English with a Dutch accent his entire life.

    It strikes me that the prohibition of handing out snacks and water to people standing in line to vote just isn’t “racist” –by any reasonable standard of judgment. It may strike some as a strange aspect of the law, of course. But, even the idea that it might discourage some people from voting seems quite a stretch. Apparently, the long lines for voting are prominent in Atlanta, and the Atlanta officials could easily fix the problem.

    What is of more interest, I suspect, is restrictions on mail-in ballots –which were vastly expanded–nation-wide–due to the epidemic. I suspect that is the deeper question involved. Back to in-person voting in one’s local precinct?

    H.G. Callaway
    (No relation to anyone in Georgia, by the way. I’m a 4th generation Philadelphian, and my ancestors came directly to Philadelphia.)

    1. Thanks, but this is a month old and dated. The prohibition of voting on Sunday, for example, was yanked. There was a house version, a senate version, and a final merged version, which I still have not found.

      1. Philadelphia, PA

        Dear Stu,

        Thanks for the reply. I hadn’t noticed the changes to the law, but concentrated on the “no water, no snacks.” I did mention that there were several Reuters articles; and they are pretty even-handed –in my experience. They supply materials to anyone who subscribes to their service, so they have to be pretty much neutral in our great political battles –right?

        H.G. Callaway

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