“This is about decency — basic decency. This is about the health and well-being of a senior citizen who’s being made to wait six hours in line to vote and allowing a volunteer to hand that senior citizen a bottle of water without facing up to a year in jail,” Ossoff said during a press conference on Zoom.
Ossoff said his proposal could be incorporated into a bill known as S.1, a sweeping election, redistricting and campaign finance bill that already passed the U.S. House and is pending in the U.S. Senate. His legislation is similar to a bill introduced last month by U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, a Democrat who represents Atlanta.
Volunteers would be able to provide food and water as long as they’re not engaging in political activity and they offer it to every voter, according to Ossoff’s bill.
Republicans who backed Georgia’s voting law said it will prevent attempts to influence voters at the polling place.
The law bans distributing food and drinks to voters within 150 feet of the outer edge of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line. Violations are punishable as a misdemeanor, which comes with up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.