Is it legal to serve food and water outside polling stations? | Media Pyro


It’s hard to believe that handing out food and water — the most basic of necessities — to polling places is considered illegal anywhere in America. But that’s the reality in Georgia, where there is a controversial law banning the distribution of food or water to voters at polling places across the country.

The Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021, signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) shortly after the 2020 presidential election, prohibits anyone other than election workers from offer “food or water to voters within 150 feet of a building. or within 25 feet of a polling line.” The law also reduces the time it takes to request a mail-in ballot, shortens Georgia’s general election period by five weeks and requires special identification to request or return a ballot and other changes.

While most states have restrictions on the distribution of food and water at or near polling places, few can compare to Georgia’s strict laws.

In Montana, it is illegal for a candidate’s family member, employee, or campaign worker to distribute “alcohol, tobacco, food, drink, or the like to a voter in in a polling place or in a building where a poll is held. is kept or within 100 feet of the entrance to the building where the polling place is.” However, individuals and organizations outside of the aforementioned groups are allowed to provide food and water to voters, as long as they comply with election guidelines and government requests. .

New York has similar laws, specifically banning “meat, drink, tobacco, heat or food” if the value is less than $1 and distributed by people who don’t identify themselves to voters. .

Other states prohibit the serving and serving of alcoholic beverages outside polling stations. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), it is a misdemeanor in Minnesota to “bring intoxicating liquor with 3.2 percent malt liquor into the polling place or to drink alcohol, or 3.2 percent malt liquor at the polling place, or to be drunk. at the polling place.” Similarly, New Hampshire prohibits the “direct or indirect supply of “intoxicating liquor” to voters with the intention of influencing the election,” according to The Hill.

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After its enactment, Georgia’s 2021 Election Verification Act was challenged but to no avail. In March 2021, President Biden denounced the law, calling it “evil” and saying in a statement, “This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It has to stop.”

“If you want a proof that there’s no reason to be fair, there’s nothing to do with justice, they passed a law that says you can’t give water to people standing in line they are waiting for the election,” he continued. “You don’t need anything else to know that this is just a punishment, designed to keep people from voting.”

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