From the AJC:
The Georgia House passed a sweeping measure, House Bill 531, that would create new rules for elections by limiting weekend early voting hours, requiring more ID to vote absentee and restricting drop boxes.
While we’re still waiting for any evidence of widespread voter fraud from the 2020 election (I’m sure it’s coming any time now), the Georgia House is wasting no time pushing through restrictive measures that make it harder for people to vote. Here’s the high level of what’s in the bill:
- Limits Sunday voting to one optional Sunday in each county
- Restricts the use of ballot drop boxes by requiring them to be located inside early voting locations
- Requires a driver’s license number, state ID number or copy of photo ID to vote absentee
- Sets a deadline to request absentee ballots 11 days before election day
- Disqualifies provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct
- Bans outside funding of elections from nonprofit organizations
- Prohibits governments from mailing unsolicited absentee ballot applications
- Creates instant-runoff voting for military and overseas voters
- Schedules runoffs four weeks after election day rather than the current nine weeks
- Prevents free food and drinks for voters waiting in line to vote
- Restricts early voting buses to emergencies
That’s a grab bag of bad ideas and a few areas that I don’t have much argument with (Ranked-choice voting in particular is a fantastic idea and I hope it gets expanded over time). But removing early-access to voting makes it harder for tons of Georgians to vote. However, what’s scarier is that the Georgia Senate is now considering removing no-exuse mail-in ballots for voters. The combo of the two is really concerning, but not that surprising.