Two Election Integrity Bills Headed Towards Georgia Senate Floor

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Two bills to help ensure election integrity in Georgia are one step closer to the Republican-controlled Senate floor, according to Tuesday reports.

“Senate subcommittee votes 3-2 to end at-will absentee voting in Georgia, making it only available to those over 75, a doctor’s note or out of town. SB71 advances to full committee,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Niesse said on Twitter.

Shortly thereafter, Niesse followed up with another tweet.

“Bill requiring photo ID or driver’s license# or ID# when requesting an absentee ballot in Georgia passes Senate subcommittee on party lines, 3-2. SB67 advances to full committee,” he said.

SB 71 would outlaw “no-excuse” absentee voting, which was used in the 2020 election. Instead, it would set forth very particular guidelines for those who can and cannot vote without going to the polls.

Those guidelines provide absentee voting privileges to people with physical disabilities, those observing a religious holiday on election day, those “required to remain on duty in his or her place of employment for the protection of the health, life, or safety of the public during the entire time the polls are open,” which includes members of the armed forces stationed away from home, and those who are 75 years or older, according to the text of the bill.

SB 67 requires “the submission of identification in connection with absentee ballot applications,” and requires “the submission of photocopies of voter identification documents for absentee ballot applications.”

If the bills pass full committee, they will be headed to the Senate floor. Republicans control both chambers of the Georgia legislature, and Gov. Brian Kemp, responsible for signing bills into law, is a Republican.

The legislation comes after a hotly contested 2020 election in Georgia, wherein many of the state’s absentee ballot procedures were called into question.

Chain of custody documents for hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots left in drop boxes across the state were never produced, despite a Georgia Election Code Emergency Rule that was approved by the State Election Board in July.

As The Georgia Star News reported, tens of thousands of absentee ballots in Cobb County alone were not picked up and transferred “immediately” to election officials, as required by the state. In extreme cases, that process took days.

When the state conducted an audit of absentee ballots in Cobb County, the audit process itself was found to have major flaws, and questions to the Secretary of State’s office about those flaws went unanswered.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “People Voting” by Wyofile Wyofile. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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