Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr., defended Georgia’s new voting law on Thursday, suggesting it was a continuation of her uncle’s legacy.
Georgia’s voting law – SB202 – was passed and signed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and GOP Governor Brian Kemp late last month. The legislation has been strongly opposed by Democrats, voting rights activists and civil rights leaders, who argue that it amounts to voter suppression and will have a negative impact on minority voters.
“You have heard me say that the laws that are being passed across the country, especially in Georgia, might be a little too little too late. They should have done something for – in my opinion – the last election to make sure people had the opportunity to be identified, ”said King, a Tory who vocally backed former President Donald Trump, at Fox News.
“We fought against Jim Crow, insisting on ‘give me my identity’. Also see me as a human being, ”she continued, referring to the voter identification requirement included in the new law. King erroneously suggested that voters previously voted without any ID required.
“And to come back to Jim Crow and remind us of the racism of the day and the segregation, that was bad, very, very, very bad. I know it was. I lived it. Our house was bombed. I have a dead dad and a dead uncle who can attest to how bad it was, ”King said. “But they said get together. Martin Luther King Jr. [said], ‘Learn to live together as brothers and sisters and not to perish together like fools.’ “
Notably, King’s remarks are in total contradiction to the views of his cousin Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
“# SB202 is not a ‘voter integrity’ bill. It is a voter suppression bill propelled by unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud. And it’s not just about voter IDs. Make sure you read and understand the bill before you comment blithely. account, “Bernice King tweeted Tuesday.
Among a number of important changes, the new Georgian law implements strict voter identification requirements; prohibits election officials from mailing requests for postal ballots; reduces the time available to voters to request postal ballots; decreases the number of ballot boxes; and makes it illegal for individuals or organizations to provide food and water to people waiting in line to vote. GOP lawmakers argue that the new legislation was necessary to secure elections in the southern state, but there is no evidence to show that elections in Georgia were previously insecure.
The new law was largely justified by Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was “rigged” or “stolen” by Democrats. Although the former president and his supporters have repeatedly promoted this baseless claim, they have not provided any supporting evidence.
Dozens of election lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies have failed in state and federal courts, with judges appointed by the former president and other Republicans dismissing the extraordinary claims. In November, shortly after the election for President Joe Biden was called, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, headed by a person named by Trump, called the election “the most secure of the world. ‘American history’. The agency added that “there is no evidence that a voting system suppressed or lost votes, altered votes or was compromised in any way.”
Former US Attorney General William Barr, who was widely regarded as one of Trump’s most loyal cabinet members, said in early December there was “no evidence” to support claims of widespread electoral fraud . Recounts and audits in key battlefield states, including three in Georgia, reaffirmed Biden’s victory. Georgia’s election was also overseen by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who voted for and donated to Trump.
Newsweek contacted Alveda King for further comment.