Georgia state Sen. John Albers says the media got a lot wrong in covering Georgia’s election legislation.
“The media missed most of it,” Albers told “The Daily Signal Podcast.” “They had written up their talking points before the bill was even passed. In fact, even before the bill was created, they already had a narrative against the bill, even though when they looked at the bill and many of them made comments, they were false.”
Albers joins the podcast to discuss what Georgia’s new election law is really about.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.
We also cover these stories:
- Florida takes steps to further secure its elections.
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- The Texas state Senate passes a bill to allow those 21 or older to carry a handgun without a permit.
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Rachel del Guidice: We’re joined today on The Daily Signal by Georgia state Sen. John Albers. Sen. Albers, it’s great to have you with us on The Daily Signal.
State Sen. John Albers: Thank you for having me.
Del Guidice: You were part of the leadership in the Georgia Legislature that passed George’s new election integrity bill, can you start off by telling us about this legislation?
Albers: Certainly. This is a great bill that increases the access to vote while at the same time putting the right security and transparency in place to assure that everyone could have confidence in the Georgia election systems and process.
Del Guidice: Many conservatives across the country aren’t aware of what is in the bill. I think a lot of liberals are even less knowledgeable on what is actually in the bill. Can you tell us about a little bit of the process that went into building the bill and then what people should know about the bill that maybe they don’t?
Albers: Certainly. The first thing is it expands voting. For example, we added additional weekend voting. As we know, a lot of folks are working during the week, but they still like that process of going to the polls in person. This gives them more opportunities on the weekend when they may not be working.
It also allows drop boxes. In the past, there was never a drop box in Georgia law. It was only put in place during the emergency order for the COVID-19 pandemic. We added them, but made sure they’d be inside in secure locations. Obviously, we want the votes to be protected.
Today, when you go up to vote, you always need a voter ID. This simply says you need that same ID and you write the number down for an absentee ballot. And then other commonsense things such as ballots need to have a watermark and a seal on them. Very similar to any other official document.
So these are good, smart protections that were put into place, and I’m very proud of the work we did.
Del Guidice: … What is your perspective on the media’s coverage of this? [Were] there false narratives that were going around? What is your perspective on how the legislation was covered and what did the media miss, if the media missed things?
Albers: Well, the media missed most of it. They had written up their talking points before the bill was even passed. In fact, even before the bill was created, they already had a narrative against the bill, even though when they looked at the bill and many of them made comments, they were false.
Our own Senate minority leader made false comments on the floor as we were passing the bill. The president of United States got four Pinocchio noses for not knowing what was in the bill.
So the typical left narrative was trying to portray something that wasn’t true, and what we’re doing is we’re debunking those one at a time to show people this is good. And, in fact, a recent poll just came out by the University of Georgia showing that the people of Georgia overwhelmingly support it.
Del Guidice: You actually lost your job as a result of this legislation. Can you tell us the whole story of what happened?
Albers: Certainly. About five weeks ago, the disgraced and discredited group, The Lincoln Project, sent a series of Tweets out saying that I sponsored one of the bills, Senate Bill 62, which required a watermark and a seal on a ballot.
It was a bipartisan bill. They said that I sponsored and voted for it, then copied the firm that I worked for at that time, and then copied all their major nationwide clients. And within a matter of 24 hours, I lost my job, even though they were discredited.
And obviously, both the left and the right, all media sources have shown that they have nothing but systemic problems. And what concerns me, Rachel, is if it could happen to me, it could happen to anybody. That economic terrorism and cancel culture is very dangerous to our democracy.
Del Guidice: What does the way forward for you look like in terms of fighting back or speaking out on it, or whatever? Are you going to continue to fight back? What do you want to do as a result of this? Because it is concerning.
Albers: Well, obviously, we’re going to take the steps we need to against The Lincoln Project. However, if they wanted a fight, they got it.
I never ran for elected office for fame nor fortune. In fact, in serving in state government, you’ll take a hit on both of those things, but you do it because it’s right. It’s because we care. We believe in America. We believe in our state of Georgia. I believe in what I’m leaving for my children and my future grandchildren one day, and this fight is righteous and we need to press forward and do the right thing.
Del Guidice: Speaking of losing jobs, you had another colleague who also lost a job or a client. What do you think this says for the larger situation where we’re at in a country right now that people are losing jobs over legislation that they’re working on in their legislatures?
Albers: First off, it’s scary. The folks on the left are skipping socialism and going right to communism. This is what communists do. They go after to try and cancel and remove people who don’t fit their narrative. They shut the media out of things that they don’t like. It’s very, very concerning.
But you know what? The pendulum swings too far in one direction on purpose, so we can bring it all the way back to where it needs to be. So this is the time for all patriotic Americans to stand up and say, “Enough is enough. We are not going to tolerate this, and we’re going to push back against these people and take our country back.”
Del Guidice: In the conversations about election integrity and voting rights, there’s been a lot of pushback about voter ID. And people were saying it’s racist to have to provide your ID to have to vote, and people are very upset about it.
And when you look at just daily life, I was talking to someone about this earlier, you have to provide an ID to adopt a pet, to get on a plane, to buy a house, so many things that it is what is expected and you have to do. So what is your perspective on all of this pushback when it comes to providing an ID to have to vote?
Albers: First off, 97% of Georgians already have an ID anyhow. And those that do not, we provide a free ID to them. So there’s no cost. There’s no concern of that. This is just folks trying to find something in order to capitalize their false argument. It’s just wrong.
And as you just mentioned, the CEO of Delta Air Lines came out against this bill, which is strange because he has no problem taking large handouts and tax credits from the state of Georgia. Yet, before I log onto Delta’s website, I need my ID and information put in. And before I can get on his plane, I need another ID. It’s just silly. And what are you afraid of by proving you are who you are?
Del Guidice: As we see a lot more states across the country start to look at election reform legislation, how would you encourage fellow state legislators across the country to handle similar situations with what you had to deal with in Georgia?
Albers: Well, be not afraid. The truth is on our side. It’s a righteous cause.
And if you think about what our Founding Fathers went through for this nation, I mean, think about the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, who fought in the Revolutionary War, who battled through every major world war. My grandfathers both fought against Nazi Germany. Those sacrifices are so much bigger than we can even think of.
So is the battle tough? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. We have to stick together, rally the people that know better, and take this fight to the end.
Del Guidice: Speaking of pushback from this legislation, you mentioned Delta, the All-Star Game for the MLB was moved out of Georgia to Colorado. What’s your perspective on that? And I think we should talk about this, but I feel like the restrictions in Colorado for voting, in Georgia, they’re pretty similar. So is this posturing? What’s going on here?
Albers: I think it’s quite ironic that the Major League Baseball organization—which is based in New York, which doesn’t have voting rights anywhere close to as good as Georgia—in the middle of the night, decided to move it to Colorado, that has more restrictive voting than Georgia does.
In fact, there you have to put a photocopy of your ID in with your absentee ballot, which is ripe for identity theft. We have more absentee opportunities, more weekend voting. So really what happened was the Major League Baseball organization struck out when it came to integrity.
Del Guidice: What are the people of Georgia saying about the decision of the MLB and all the pushback that’s been happening? What are you hearing from your constituents?
Albers: Well, they’re mad. They’re disappointed because we had a few companies who were uninformed, who are not telling the truth, that are ultimately hurting Georgians. In their own posture, they said, “Well, we’re doing this because we care.” Well, if you care, you don’t take jobs and business away from small businesses, and it’s just simply wrong.
And you know what? When you’re in an executive position, you have to maintain a certain amount of character and credibility, and we should hold them at a higher standard, especially a large, publicly traded company. I’m very disappointed and I hope people will use their voices appropriately in order to counter that.
Del Guidice: In talking about the MLB, I believe your governor, Gov. Brian Kemp, had said that he would speak with the MLB commissioner to talk about this new law, to explain it, to address any concerns that the MLB had. Did that conversation happen? Did the MLB want to talk to him?
Albers: Well, first, I just wanted to say Gov. Kemp has done a phenomenal job for the state of Georgia, from voting to opening up for COVID, to having one of the best economies in the nation.
I’m not sure if the MLB even ever took his call, but I know that Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines had weighed in through the entire process and had no problem with the bill until … after it passed, which is just really sad that they bought into that woke cancel culture as opposed to really focusing on the facts. Very disappointed in them.
Del Guidice: We’ve talked about this a little bit, but are there any other parts of this election bill that you want everyone to know about that people aren’t reporting about, that the media isn’t talking about?
Albers: Rachel, the headline of this, as I mentioned in the beginning, is very simple. It increases voting access, it removes any concern of security, and increases transparency.
If you really wanted to have a good, safe, and secure election, made sure every right vote counted, why would you not love this bill? Only somebody who wanted to subvert it or perhaps do something nefarious would be against this piece of legislation. And that’s the real story here. Why are they so upset about having those types of parameters put in place?
Del Guidice: As someone who’s worked on election integrity legislation, what’s your perspective on what needs to happen further in this country to ensure election integrity?
Albers: Well, you’ve got many states that don’t require an ID at all. In fact, there’s a couple of lawsuits. I’ve seen one where a gentleman not only went in to vote for himself, but he registered another fake name as a female, came back in a few hours later with a wig on.
This is very concerning. We need to have a national database to know where people are, to make sure they’re not trying to vote in multiple states.
We’ve had that happen in Georgia. In fact, one of our state House races is being challenged right now because we found 800 to 1,000 people who are registered and living in another state that voted in this election. That’s just wrong. First off, it’s illegal. Just play by the rules. I mean, I think that’s a very reasonable thing for us to ask for anybody.
Del Guidice: What kind of risk does the country run, would you say, if election integrity isn’t something that’s pursued and implemented?
Albers: Well, if you think about our republic, it has survived all these years because we have had faith in the very system that is there. And that starts with us having our elected leaders.
If we lose faith in the voting system and the way we elect those leaders, it will be the beginning of the end of, I believe, what Ben Franklin said, “A republic if you can keep it.” America would never be destroyed from the outside, only from the inside. That’s why it’s so important today that this generation, our generation, rises up and makes sure we take back the narrative.
Del Guidice: We’ve talked a lot about election integrity legislation, what you’re all doing in Georgia. Is there anything else you want to highlight before we wrap up on legislation you’re working on that you are excited about?
Albers: Well, certainly. I was proud to pass a lot of great legislation this last year. One of the big things we did was to assure that businesses could stay open during the pandemic and not have a fear of all this foolish litigation.
I’ll never forget, I got a call about a little over a year ago from a friend in California who said, “You’re not going to believe it. The billboards are already up.” I said, “What billboards?” He said, “‘Did you get COVID on the job? Call us.'” It was the ambulance-chaser type of lawsuits that had already began there.
We did a business immunity bill so business could feel comfortable opening back up—people were afraid to open up their pools and their homeowners associations, etc.—because we needed Georgians to get back to business.
For eight years, we’ve been the No. 1 place to do business. So when you hear states like California and New York and Illinois all complain, well, it’s because all of their folks are leaving and moving to the states that say, “We’re going to roll out the red carpet because we want your business, we want your families, we want to give you a great quality of life, and we want to follow the principles that make America America.”
Del Guidice: Well, state Sen. John Albers, thank you so much for joining us on The Daily Signal.
Albers: Thank you so much, Rachel.
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