ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon to bring attention to voting rights. The two Democrats hope to re-ignite support for legislation currently making its way through Congress.
Biden and Harris took the stage at the Atlanta University Center Consortium with their urgent message.READ MORE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rob Gronkowski announces his retirement, again
“Pass the Freedom to Vote Act. Pass it now. It’s also time to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” Biden said.
As Biden put it, the next few days will mark a turning point in the country, when the federal voting rights bills come to a vote on Capitol Hill.
Voting rights advocates turned out to show their support, lining the sidewalks near the site of the speech shouting, “What do we want? Voting rights! When do we want them? Now!”
Georgia and other states passed sweeping legislation after the last presidential election. Democrats say the laws undermine voting rights, especially for minorities. Georgia Republicans, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, say the proposed federal legislation would undermine the integrity of the elections.
“This is an attempt to weaken election security under the guise of voting rights,” said Raffensperger in a speech on Tuesday morning. “I am calling on Congress to take steps to strengthen our elections.”READ MORE: Technology skills program for teens coming to Atlanta
The secretary said he is asking Congress to pass national voter ID laws, put a nationwide ban on ballot harvesting, and enact a Constitutional amendment allowing only American citizens to vote. Raffensperger is also requesting they cut down the blackout period prior to the election for voter list maintenance.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also had a message in response to the president’s address.
“We refuse to be bullied or boycotted into backing down, because SB 202, Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, makes it easier to vote and hard to cheat,” he said.
Biden refused to be deterred in his message.
“They (Republicans) want chaos to reign. We want the people to rule,” Biden said in response.MORE NEWS: Delta Air Lines to 'strategically decrease' flights this summer
Biden is also calling on the Senate to change the filibuster rules in order to pass the federal voting rights bills.