MSNBC’s Joy Reid recently got her facts completely wrong when discussing the GA Senate runoff, incorrectly claiming that Georgians aren’t able to early vote on the Saturday after Thanksgiving because of a holiday celebrating Robert E Lee’s birthday.
Speaking on that, Reid said:
“As the Georgia Senate runoff campaign kicks into high gear, Senator Raphael Warnock announced today that he is filing a lawsuit to allow Georgians to vote early on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.”
“Because of a law Republicans passed in 2016, it is currently illegal in Georgia to have early voting on any day that immediately follows a state holiday. And Friday, November 25th, is technically a state holiday. Celebrating the birthday of none other than Confederate general and literal traitor, Robert E. Lee.”
The thing is, Reid is just plain wrong about that. While the state of Georgia did used to have a state holiday for Robert E Lee’s birthday (which is on January 19th) on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the state holiday no longer celebrates Robert E Lee. Rather, it’s just a state holiday.
Further, the Saturday voting would be disallowed under Georgia’s laws regardless of what happens on Friday, as early voting is prohibited on the Saturday following any Thursday or Friday holiday. Given that Thanksgiving is on Thursday, as always, no voting would be allowed on Saturday anyway.
But Reid wasn’t the only one spreading the misinformation about Georgia’s voting laws. Obama adviser David Axelrod did as well in a tweet, saying:
This really is egregious. Dropping a day of early voting before the Georgia runoff because of a holiday originally meant to honor Robert E. Lee!
He was shredded by Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling, who said:
David…the law says no Saturday voting following a Thursday or Friday state holiday. Thanksgiving is the reason for no Saturday voting. Please correct your tweet. It was passed years ago so county workers had their holiday, and the real world problem of getting pollworkers then.
Axelrod’s post was also hit by a fact-check saying “The Saturday is excluded because it falls after Thanksgiving. See this tweet from the COO* of the Georgia SOS” that linked to Sterling’s tweet on the issue.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, someone who should know her state’s voting laws, posted misinformation about the holiday and Saturday voting as well, saying:
Soooo…let me get this right….The holiday, formerly known as Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Birthday, prohibits early voting on a Saturday during the Senate runoff in Georgia? Oh, ok….#Vote
No, Keisha, you did not “get this right.” You got it wrong. Her post, however, was not not fact-check by Twitter with a link to Sterling’s tweet like Axelrod’s misinformation-filled tweet was.
And while Reid and Co. might be making up the R.E. Lee Day talking point, Warnock’s lawsuit admitted truth about why voting won’t be taking place on Saturday (Thanksgiving), reading:
“The Secretary of State has nonetheless taken the unsupportable position that, despite the law’s command that counties begin offering advance voting ‘as soon as possible,’ id., counties are barred from opening the polls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.”
"*" indicates required fields