Carroll County Times Opinion

Sprinkle: Parroting Georgia’s 2021 voting law without reading it turns some into Pinocchios | COMMENTARY

Have you noticed the overabundance of parrots in the United States? They’re everywhere — in government, in media, in schools, in churches, in our neighborhoods, and some are even in our own homes. (Heaven help those unfortunate souls!)

The birds are easily identifiable by their vocalizations: “Squawawawk! Polls closed! Five o’clock! Shrieeeeeek! No water! Screeeeeech! Jim Crow on steroids! Shrieeeeeek! Squawawawk! Voter suppression! Screeeeeech!”


Aside from making a lot of noise, the parrot vocalizes solely what it has heard. It neither researches its word choice for accuracy nor does it screech, squawk, or shriek an original thought.

But what many find entertaining in the parrot is totally reprehensible in the parrot-person who is supposed to have some capacity for gathering facts and vocalizing a rational opinion based on an analysis of those facts rather than merely regurgitating what some political yarn-spinner has whispered in his ear.


Case in point: Georgia’s “Election Integrity Act of 2021” (S.B. 202).

Apparently, it’s too much for us to expect those who screech, “Jim Crow on steroids!” to have read S.B. 202 before proceeding with their proclamations of “racism” and a “blatant attack” on voting rights.

I downloaded and highlighted a copy of the document (provided by the New York Times) and slogged through all 98 pages of it with the intention of confirming or rejecting some of the parrot-generated comments coming from the left. It’s not exciting reading, but it is the substance of the law.

We know that Joe Biden didn’t read S.B. 202; he can barely read a teleprompter. So it’s easy to understand why the Washington Post (hardly a bastion of conservative thought) handed him Four Pinocchios. Yet the problem continues with Biden and his acolytes. Instead of reversing course and telling the truth, they double-down and continue spinning the same yarns.

Following is a brief synopsis of just two topics of contention.

· Lines 1872-1889 of S.B. 202 speak to the issue of giving “money or gifts, including ... food and drink, to an elector .. (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established ... (2) ... any polling place; or (3) ... 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.”

The 150-foot and other space requirements are designed to prevent “electioneering,” political intimidation, or enticement of voters while they’re waiting to vote. Not exactly a bad idea with both BLM and Antifa militants lurking everywhere.

But S.B. 202 also says, “This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer ... from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.”


· With reference to “a period of advance voting [Emphasis added],” Section 28, lines 1497-1503 lay out the following: “Voting shall be conducted during normal business hours beginning at 9:00 A.M. and ending at 5:00 P.M. on weekdays ... on the second Saturday and third Saturdays...9:00 A.M. through 5:00 P.M. and, if the registrar or absentee ballot clerk so chooses, the second Sunday, the third Sunday, or both the second and third Sundays prior to a primary or election ... 9:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M. ... but no longer than 7:00 A.M. through 7:00 P.M.”

In other words, S.B. 202 adds a second required Saturday and two optional Sunday opportunities for early voting.

Voting hours on Election Day remain unchanged. Glenn Kessler, a Washington Post fact-checker, states the obvious to anyone vaguely interested in the truth: “On Election Day in Georgia, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and if you are in line by 7 p.m., you are allowed to cast your ballot.”

More amazing are the complaints that voters must request an absentee ballot. Imagine that! Georgia doesn’t want dead people, on unpurged voting rolls, voting! And to suggest that U.S. citizens of color are too stupid to obtain an ID has infuriated many of those citizens. And why not? That’s racism on steroids!

Georgia law goes a long way toward ensuring fair and secure elections — for all of its citizens. So before flying off on a parrot’s mission and screeching, squawking, and shrieking about this “Jim-Crow-in-the-21st-Century” legislation, read the whole law. You may even avoid your own personal Pinocchio.

M.K. Sprinkle writes from Hampstead. Her column appears every other Saturday. Email her at