Graham on Georgia legislation prohibiting giving water to voters in line: 'Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOn The Money: Biden announces bipartisan deal on infrastructure, but Democratic leaders hold out for more Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population MORE (R-S.C.) said in an interview that he agreed a provision included in a GOP-backed voting law in Georgia that seeks to bar anyone other than poll workers from giving food or water to voters waiting in long lines to cast their ballot “doesn't make a whole lot of sense.” 

The moment came during Graham’s recent interview on “Fox News Sunday” in which he was pressed by host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' Sunday shows - Biden foreign policy in focus Pompeo defends Trump on Russia in Chris Wallace interview MORE about legislation signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempWhy won't the national media cover the story Americans care about most? North Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban MLB All-Star game to stay in Denver, judge rules MORE (R) last week that has prompted backlash from Democrats and voting rights advocates.

“All right, well, let's take a look at some of the provisions in Georgia, and these are specific ones that a lot of people are having heartburn about, senator. It would limit the number and location of drop boxes,” Wallace said to Graham on Sunday.


“Good,” Graham said. 

“It allows counties to cut off early voting at 5 p.m., before a lot of working people get off and could go vote, and, this is the one that I think is creating the biggest fuss, it prohibits, it makes it a crime to give food or drink to voters waiting in line,” Wallace continued.

“Senator, why on earth, if Americans are willing to wait in hours to vote, would you make it a crime for people to come and give them a bottle of water?” Wallace then asked.

“All I can say is that that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I agree with you there,” Graham said.

The Georgia law would allow poll workers to bring a cup of water to someone in line but would prohibit other people from doing so as part of an effort to stop electioneering.

The provision is one of  a number of changes the Republican-backed legislation seeks to make to voting in the state.


“The law would also add more identification requirements to vote absentee in the state, a practice that was long favored by Republicans, after it saw record absentee voting in the past presidential election.

If passed, the bill would require Georgia voters to provide a driver’s license or state identification card number to vote absentee. Election authorities previously used a signature-matching process for ballot verification.”

In 2020, Georgia flipped blue for the first time since 1992. And in January, Democrats won two runoff elections for the U.S. Senate, which allowed Democrats to take the majority.

The law’s passage comes as Georgia’s Republican-led legislature has seen a series of election bills filed or advanced in recent months that include provisions that would limit voter access. 

Republicans have claimed the legislation is needed to boost election security and public trust in Georgia’s elections.

Democrats and voting rights advocates have argued the legislation would make it harder for people, particularly those of color, to vote and that the measures come in response to the party’s wins in the state in the November presidential election and January Senate runoff races. 

Many advocates have said the legislation in Georgia ups the stakes on Congress to pass legislation with provisions aimed at expanding voting access such as H.R. 1.

Republicans argue this would federalize elections, taking too much control from states.

During his appearance on Sunday, Graham instead urged those upset with the voting legislation in Georgia to take their challenges “to court and stop them.” 

“But what they're doing with H.R. 1 is destroying the ability of any state to run elections, doing away with voter idea, changing the Federal Election Commission to make it partisan and institutionalizing national ballot harvesting,” he claimed, arguing the measure “would be a disaster to our elections.”

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article inaccurately stated the voting law signed by Kemp last week. The bill will create a voter ID requirement for absentee voting.