Republican Lawmakers Introduce Voting Restriction Laws in Georgia
The Senators of the GOP state in Georgia have introduced a bill restricting electoral access in the state, including absentee absentee voting and automatic voter registration.
If passed, the restrictions could destroy years of work Democrats have worked in the state, advocating voting lawyer Stacey Abrams and having a significant impact on the 2022 midterm elections.
One of the bills would require voters applying for a postal ballot to be at least 75 years old, out of their district, observing a religious holiday, having a physical disability, or caring for someone with a physical disability in order to receive one .
Another bill would ban Dropboxing and require voters to identify themselves when applying for a postal vote. A third bill would restrict who can distribute postal voting requests to state election officials and campaigns, blocking outside organizations and nonprofits like Abrams’ Fair Fight organization. Other measures would prevent new residents from voting in runoff elections and increase the access of election observers.
Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, who co-sponsored the bills, said the bills would “restore an electoral system that has lost credibility with the majority of Georgians.”
“I want every legal vote to be counted, and I want better access for all voters. Accusing our reform efforts of repression is simply a political tactic. Even those of us who never claimed the election was stolen recognize that voters have lost confidence in the legitimacy of the system. We have to work to restore that, ”he said in a statement to CNN.
Republicans, many of whom still deny losses to former President Donald Trump and former State Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, claim the measures protect against election fraud, but have no evidence to back their claims.
After the presidential election, Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger sent a letter debunking numerous electoral claims by Trump, and former head of cybersecurity Chris Krebs called the election “the safest election in US history.”
The bills were quickly denounced by Democratic lawmakers in the state.
Democratic State Senator Nikki Merritt tweeted, “GA Republicans are so weak the only way to win if you block your access to the vote.”
Georgia Democratic MP Josh McLaurin also tweeted his frustration with the Georgia GOP.
How pathetic is it to respond to electoral losses by changing the voting rules instead of changing course in terms of politics and tone?
– Josh McLaurin (@JoshforGeorgia) February 2, 2021
Similar bills were introduced in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas.