Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election official in Georgia, made a name for himself late last year when he defended the integrity of his state’s presidential vote and frequently debunked former President Donald Trump’s claims of fraud. Now, though, he’s defending a controversial new state voting law signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) last week that critics say will particularly affect voters of color.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Joshua Johnson on Friday night, Sterling did not appear to agree with his fellow Georgia Republicans, including Kemp, who argued that reforms were necessary after the 2020 election, even though there’s no evidence of widespread fraud despite multiple recounts and an audit of ballot signatures. “Politicians gonna politic,” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t “good things” in the law, he said, praising the switch from signature verification to identification number verification, in particular.
“Politics is gonna politic” top GA elections official @GabrielSterling tells @NBCJoshua. “They wanted to do this in response to a lot of the fraudulent claims of the president, absolutely. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t good things [in the law].” pic.twitter.com/Fz8Cy3K5zy
— The Week with Joshua Johnson (@TheWeekMSNBC) March 26, 2021
“Nothing in this bill suppresses anyone’s vote,” Sterling wrote on Twitter later. “Those saying so are just stirring the pot and raising money. The claim of voter suppression has the same level of truth as the claims of voter fraud in the last election.”
The Week‘s Bonnie Krisitian writes that there are indeed “some common sense reforms” in the bill, as Sterling argues, but other measures, like criminalizing both photographing your own ballot and giving people food and water while they wait in line to vote or reducing the number of absentee ballot boxes available and limiting the time someone can request an absentee ballot, are “blatantly restrictive.” Read more at The Week. Tim O’Donnell