This morning, in strictly partisan vote, the Georgia legislature passed the “Election Integrity Act of 2021”, which is an elections and primaries omnibus bill designed and passed by Republicans in the state to avoid in the future the DEBACLE that Georgia endured in the 2020 election.
This bill has voter ID requirements for mail-in voting, it attacks ballot-harvesting drop boxes, it gives the state legislature the power to appoint someone to oversee the board INSTEAD of the Secretary of State. It’s many thing.s
Here’s the least “filled with Democrat rage emoting” part of the AP story about it.
Among highlights, the law requires a photo ID in order to vote absentee by mail, after more than 1.3 million Georgia voters used that option during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also cuts the time people have to request an absentee ballot and limits where ballot drop boxes can be placed and when they can be accessed.
Republican Rep. Jan Jones said the provisions cutting the time people have to request an absentee ballot are meant to “increase the likelihood of a voter’s vote being cast successfully,” after concerns were raised in 2020 about mail ballots not being received by counties in time to be counted.
One of the biggest changes gives the GOP-controlled legislature more control over election administration, a change that has raised concerns among voting rights groups that it could lead to greater partisan influence.
The law replaces the elected secretary of state as the chair of the state election board with a new appointee of the legislature after Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rebuffed Trump’s attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results. It also allows the board to remove and replace county election officials deemed to be underperforming.
And Axios puts it this way:
The new law includes measures that:
- Cut the time period voters have to request absentee ballots and impose new identification requirements.
- Make it easier for state officials to take over local elections boards.
- Limit the use of ballot drop boxes.
- Allow challenges to voting eligibility.
- Criminalize any attempt to approach voters in line, even if only to give them food or water.
- “[R]eplace the elected secretary of state as the chair of the state election board with a new appointee of the legislature after Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rebuffed [former President] Trump’s attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results,” AP writes.
So … that’s step one.