Too little, too late…but now the Georgia Legislature has passed an election reform bill that includes doing away with no-excuse absentee ballots. The bill passed the Senate and will then be sent to the House Elections Integrity Committee.
It is expected to pass there and then be sent to Gov Brian Kemp to see if he will sign it. Time is of the utmost importance.
The bill needs to be signed by March 31st in order to take effect by the end of the 2021 legislative session.
The bill, SB 241 (pdf), contains sweeping changes to the Georgia Code related to elections and voting. The bill would only allow the disabled and those over 65 to vote by mail. Military and overseas voters will naturally be available by mail also.
Now, in order to request an absentee ballot, you will be required to show an official I.D..
The bill also allows them to join a multi-state campaign to check on the eligibility of voters that will catch people who vote in more than one state.
Mobile voting units will be limited to supporting voting stations rather than supplanting them. There will be a hotline set up whereby voters can call and report voter intimidation and election fraud.
All complaints to be registered within three days of election day.
The Georgia Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement:
“We’ve spent several hundred hours doing research and policy development around election integrity, addressing the lack of faith and integrity in our current election systems as expressed by many of our citizens. We encourage all citizens to practice their civic duty, and in return, it is our responsibility to ensure public confidence and trust in the system, ensuring our rights are protected. SB 241 codifies open and honest reformation to a multitude of areas regarding election oversight, voting processes, and transparency.”
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Shortly prior to the vote on the bill, Georgia Republicans issued a statement saying, “We want every person to vote. We want elections to be secure. We are open to solutions, but Georgia will not be vulnerable to voter fraud.” The statement presumably refers to the 2020 presidential election, which saw numerous allegations of voting irregularities and allegations of election fraud.
Republican Majority Leader Mike Dugan, the main sponsor of the bill, said that amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic in the last election cycle, a surge in absentee ballots posed a burden on county election offices, reported The Associated Press.