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Georgia election reform bill signed into law

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A bill backed by the Georgia GOP that will overhaul election protocols in the state was signed into law Thursday.

The legislation includes new restrictions on voting by mail, and increases legislative control over elections in the state.

Opponents claim the measure is a needless reaction to former President Trump’s claims that widespread voter fraud in the state lead to his defeat there in the 2020 election.

Georgia — a traditionally red state — narrowly voted for President Biden and two Democratic US Senators amid record-breaking turnout in the last election cycle.

The new law limits the window in which absentee ballots can be requested, and cuts the number of locations and times ballot drop boxes can be accessed.

The measure also gives the Republican-led senate and house more control over election administration, including the option to appoint the chair of the election board and remove and replace county election officials.

The new law will also cut the time frame for runoff elections and ban groups from handing out food and water to voters.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was delivering remarks after signing the bill when he was interrupted by a ten protestors, including two lawmakers, outside of his Atlanta office.

Kemp, a Republican, asked an aide “what’s the problem,” before a livestream of the ceremony went dark.

State Rep. Erica Thomas, a Democrat, who is black, was arrested after knocking on Kemp’s door during his speech.

The measure was filled with “voter suppression tactics,” a top Democrat said.

“We are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights unlike anything we’ve seen since the Jim Crow era, Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler said.

With AP wires

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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

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An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

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The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”

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