After the fraudulent activity surrounding the 2020 election, state officials and representatives are working hard to ensure that future elections are secure and that U.S citizens have the utmost confidence in a state’s election system. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed Senate Bill 202, which is an election security bill that increases voter opportunity and identification requirements for vote-by-mail measures. This makes Georgia one of the first states to enact major election laws after the 2020 presidential election.
While Democrats claim that these new voting measures are “racist” and meant to “attack minority communities,” GOP lawmakers argue that there is nothing racist about limiting drop boxes or requiring valid identification to vote.
The bill, which was signed into law, requires voters to provide a photo identification to request and submit absentee ballots instead of a signature-matching process. It also limits the use of ballot box drop boxes in the state to at least one dropbox per county and can only be accessed when polling sites are open. It also strips certain state officials of power if election results need to be reviewed and shortens the timeframe for runoff elections by five weeks. Additionally, the bill will also limit the cutoff date for absentee ballots and expand weekend early voting.
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“Well, it wasn’t a voting rights bill, it was an election security bill that actually increases early voting opportunities on the weekend here in Georgia, also requires a photo ID for absentee-by-mail, just like when you vote in person. I think it will allow Georgia to have secure and fair elections,” says Gov. Kemp.
Other state officials, such as Rep. Shaw Blackmon, say they pushed the bill to help preserve the security of Georgia elections, especially after the election misinformation and fraudulent activity surrounding many states in 2020. “Strengthening voter verification is a good place to start,” said Rep. Dale Washburn.
President Joe Biden issued a statement that these voting measures are the “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and that the citizens have a “moral and Constitutional obligation to act.” He urged Congress to pass election reform and called on the Justice Department to “take a look” at the recently passed Georgia election laws.
Representatives, however, add that ‘voter suppression’ is a left-leaning rhetoric to make excuses for fraudulent activity and that the new election measures actually give more opportunities for people to vote, along with the security that the voter is proving they are himself, or herself, while casting a vote.
Former President Donald Trump also praised the state of Georgia for enacting such election measures in a recent press release. “Congratulations to Georgia and the Georgia State Legislature on changing their voter Rules and Regulations. They learned from the travesty of the 2020 presidential election, which can never be allowed to happen again. Too bad these changes could not have been done sooner!” He said.
The bill not only expands voting access and streamlines the procedure, but ensures the Georgia citizens that there is full election integrity in the process. Democrats don’t want fair and more secure elections – and it shows.