On Tuesday (November 15), during a segment for her MSNBC show “Reid Out,” host Joy Reid falsely claimed early voting in the Georgia runoff beginning on Saturday (November 26) wasn’t possible because the state was commemorating confederate General Robert E. Lee on Friday (November 25).
Reid explained that a law passed by Georgia Republicans in 2016 makes it “illegal” to vote on a Saturday following a state holiday, pointing to the commemoration of Lee as the holiday delaying early voting.
Reid’s statements are riddled with inaccuracies.
The first is that the state’s commemoration of Lee is taking place.
Georgia hasn’t commemorated or celebrated Robert E. Lee’s January 19 birthday since 2015, when the state passed a law to have the name removed and the holiday taken over by the generic “State Holiday.”
Her second inaccuracy is that it’s the State Holiday on Friday that affects Saturday early voting. Instead, given a law Georgia passed in 2016 regarding early voting, Thanksgiving would have restricted early voting commencing on November 26.
The law Reid is referencing prohibits early voting from starting on a Saturday if there is a state holiday on Thursday or Friday.
COO of the Office of Secretary of State, Gabriel Sterling, also corrected some on Twitter who peddled Friday’s holiday as the reason voters couldn’t start early voting on Saturday. Instead, Sterling asserted it is Thanksgiving that prohibits early voting to commence on November 26, pointing to the logistics of getting poll workers to show up the Saturday after Thanksgiving.