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Lindsey Graham Slams Georgia Ban on Handing Voters Water: ‘Doesn’t Make a Whole Lot of Sense’

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Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, criticized new legislation in Georgia that makes it illegal to hand out water and food to voters as they wait in line for polls.

Although Graham largely defended Republican efforts to roll back access to ballot drop boxes and add new restrictions to receive absentee ballots—as well as other election changes that Democrats have slammed as “the new Jim Crow”—the GOP senator said the provision banning the handing out food and water didn’t make sense.

Graham, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, made the remarks during an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.

“And this is the one that I think is creating the biggest fuss. It prohibits—it makes it a crime—to give food or drink to voters waiting in line. Senator, why on Earth—if Americans are willing to wait in [line] hours to vote, would you make it a crime for people to come and give them a bottle of water?” Wallace asked Graham.

“All I can say is that that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I agree with you there,” Graham responded.

However, he quickly pivoted to raise concerns about the “explosion in mail-in balloting” that Georgia saw in the 2020 election. Graham did add that people “can go to court and stop” what is happening in Georgia if they don’t like the new legislation.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said Sunday that a new law in Georgia banning people from handing out food and water to voters waiting in line for the polls doesn’t make sense. In this photo, Graham speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 24 in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

“No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector,” the controversial provision in Georgia’s new election legislation, which was signed into law by GOP Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday, says. Poll workers would still be allowed to hand out water, but any other person is not allowed to do so.

The Republican senator then criticized Democrats’ efforts to pass HR 1, the For the People Act, which would substantially expand voting rights. GOP lawmakers have criticized the legislation, arguing that it would unconstitutionally federalize election. But Democrats say that they are simply trying to ensure more Americans have access to the democratic process, pointing to efforts—like the one underway in Georgia—to limit access to the polls. Graham insisted that HR 1 would be “a disaster to our elections.”

President Joe Biden condemned the Georgia legislation in Friday comments to reporters. He took particular issue with the section banning people from distributing water and food to voters waiting in line.

“If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency— they passed a law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line while they’re waiting to vote,” Biden said.

In an official statement, the president said: “This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end.”

The Liberty Buzz reached out to Graham’s press secretary for further comment.

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