Fox “straight news” program lets Charlie Kirk get away with lying about Georgia voting law

The Georgia election board, fully controlled by Republicans in the state legislature, "is unilaterally empowered to take over (among other things) the process of disqualifying ballots across the state.”

A Fox “straight news” program brought on Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk to lie about the Georgia voter suppression law.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed a law that increases state power over county elections, which would allow Republican interference in Democratic counties, limits the number of ballot dropboxes for each county, and imposes regulations on absentee and early voting that will disproportionately affect Black voters. 

The law drew immediate backlash, with President Joe Biden condemning a clause banning food and water distribution at the polls as “outrageous” and calling the measure “un-American,” Georgia-based Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola criticizing the law, and Major League Baseball relocating this year’s All-Star Game and draft from the state.

On The Story Monday, Fox’s Juan Williams said Georgia Republicans look “like they’re trying to control future elections” due to provisions taking power away from the secretary of state and local board of electors. Kirk responded that the law “doesn’t do that,” an assertion that went unchallenged by anchor Martha MacCallum:

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Citation From the April 5, 2021, edition of Fox News' The Story with Martha MacCallum

JUAN WILLIAMS: I think the truth, in this case, is much larger than arguing about exactly what the limitations are on Souls to the Polls or absentee voting. I think the big problem here is the big lie that President Trump perpetrated claiming that the last election was stolen. And now you have legislatures around the country saying we want to encourage confidence in future elections so we're changing the law. In the case in Georgia, we're willing to strip power from the secretary of state and local election boards and invested in the Republican majority in the state legislature. Looks like they're trying to control future elections. That's why you're seeing the outrage. 


CHARLIE KIRK: The bill doesn't do that. The law, I should say, doesn't do that. I anticipated that that’s where you were going to go with it, Juan, which is to not actually address the merits of this bill. A lot of the outrage from Delta and Coke is just based on misinformation. Whether you can hand out water in line, which you can still do. And I'll push back on one thing that Juan said. Georgia saw one of the greatest increases in absentee ballots in any state in the country from 240,000 in 2016 to over 1.2 million in 2020. Yet they had a lower standard and lower threshold to ensure who was actually sending that ballot in. This fixes that. So we want fair and free elections in our country. I'm stunned how the Democrats have handled this. I should have known better. They make everything seem as if it's the end of the world. It's a good bill a moderate bill.

As Williams said, the law will allow the heavily gerrymandered and largely Republican state government to manage county election boards, removing the secretary of state from heading, and voting on, the state election board with oversight. As Vox explained, that means the “state board, which now will be fully controlled by the Republican legislative majority, is unilaterally empowered to take over (among other things) the process of disqualifying ballots across the state.”

Kirk also lied about water being handed to people in line. As PolitiFact notes: “The law makes it a misdemeanor to give away food or water within 150 feet of the outer edge of a polling place building or within 25 feet of any voter in line. Violations of this law are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.”