“This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience,” Biden said in a statement.
In comments to reporters as he departed the White House for the weekend, Biden expounded on his criticism, calling the law an “atrocity” and lambasting a provision that makes it illegal to take food or water to voters in line.
Biden’s remarks comes a day after Republican lawmakers pushed through drastic changes to the state’s election process that were immediately signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
The 98-page law outlaws providing food or water to people waiting in line to vote and adds additional voter ID requirements to mail voters and shortens state runoffs.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the law “despicable” Thursday night.
“Since 2012—the GA GOP has closed more than 200 polling places. Voters in mostly Black precincts now wait 8X LONGER to vote than voters in mostly white precincts,” he wrote in a tweet. “Now the GOP makes it a crime to give water to people standing in long lines THEY CREATED.”
The ban against “line warming,” or taking food, gifts, money, and drink to voters in line, ostensibly aims to prevent electioneering. In practice, it could make it hard for voters to withstand long lines, which extended for 10 hours in some places in Georgia last year.
Kemp championed the new law as “common sense” on Thursday, aligning himself with former President Donald Trump and boasting that he called for investigations into voter fraud last year.
In a statement, Trump congratulated “Georgia and the Georgia State Legislature on changing their voter Rules and Regulations.”
In his Friday statement, Biden called on Congress to enact federal voter protections to prevent what he said amounted to “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”
“It must end. We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act,” Biden said.