Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Wednesday said she believed it’s wrong to hold voting events on Sunday due to religious reasons.
As The Washington Post reports, Hyde-Smith made the remarks in response to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who criticized state governments that have pushed legislation that would limit voting on Sundays.
“Why did the Georgia legislature only pick Sundays to say there should be no early voting on Sunday?” Schumer said on Wednesday. “We know why. It’s because that’s the day African Americans vote in the ‘Souls to the Poll’ operation where they go from church to vote. It’s despicable.”
A series of new bills advanced in the Georgia state legislature by GOP lawmakers in early March would limit voter access by ending no-excuse absentee voting and automatic voter registration, limit early voting on weekends and shorten the time voters have to request absentee ballots. Voting activists have criticized the bill as racist as Black churches have a history of using Sundays to encourage voters to cast their ballots.
“Georgia is a Southern state just like Mississippi, and I cannot speak for Georgia, but I can speak for Mississippi on why we would never do that on Sunday,” Hyde-Smith said later, according to the Post.
The Mississippi senator continued while holding up a dollar bill, saying, “This is our currency, this is a dollar bill. This says, ‘The United States of America In God We Trust.’ Etched in stone in the U.S. Senate chamber is ‘In God We Trust.’ When you swore in all of these witnesses, the last thing you said to them in your instructions was, ‘so help you God.’ ”
She continued by saying the Bible says to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. So that is my response to Sen. Schumer.”
Top Georgia Republican lawmakers backed off some of their voting restriction proposals last week, dropping the call to end no-excuse absentee voting and do away with early Sunday voting from their legislative package amid growing criticism.