The senators of the GOP state in Georgia tabled a bill on Monday to restrict electoral access in the state, e.g. B. Postal voting with no apology and automatic voter registration.
If passed, the eight proposed measures – following elections in which the Democrats achieved historic gains in the state – could significantly transform Georgian voters and have a significant impact on the 2022 midterm elections. Republicans reiterate an unsubstantiated argument by former President Donald Trump, claiming that electoral fraud prevention measures are necessary, although there is no evidence that it had any impact on the outcome of the 2020 election.
One of the bills would require an apology to vote in absentia and repeal a 2019 law allowing a non-apologetic out-of-office vote. Under the law, voters must be 75 years of age or older, not in their district, observe a religious holiday, be physically disabled, have to provide constant care for someone with a physical disability, or “for the protection of health, life or safety the public for the entire duration of the open election ”in order to qualify for the absence.
The bills would also ban ballot boxes and require voters to provide ID when applying for a postal vote. Another bill would restrict who can distribute postal voting requests to election officials and campaigning in Georgia, and prevent outside groups and nonprofits from sending requests to voters.
Other measures put in place by the state’s Republican legislature would expand access to election observers, prohibit new residents of Georgia from voting in runoff elections, and require monthly updates for election officials from deceased voters.
Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, who co-sponsored the bills, said they are “taking different approaches to restore confidence in an electoral system that has lost credibility with the majority of Georgians.”
“I want every legal vote to be counted, and I want better access for all voters. Accusing our reform efforts of repression is simply a political tactic. Even those of us who never claimed the election was stolen recognize that voters have lost confidence in the legitimacy of the system. We have to work to restore that, ”he said in a statement to CNN.
The package was flatly rebuked by democratic lawmakers in the state when it was introduced.
“How pathetic is it to respond to election losses by changing the voting rules instead of changing course in politics and tone?” Democratic MP Josh McLaurin tweeted.
His message was endorsed by Democratic State Senator Nikki Merritt, who tweeted, “GA Republicans are so weak that they can only win if you block your access to the vote.”
Teri Anulewicz, a representative of the democratic state, also tweeted: “Good legislative rights are wrong. It fixes a problem. Voter suppression won’t change why GA rejected the GOP in November and January. “
The Georgia Senate Democrats Twitter account also stated that the proposed measures are what happens if “GA Democrats win.”
“These bills, introduced today by the GA Senate GOP, are a laundry list of #voter-suppression tactics designed to reduce turnout, specifically to reverse the effects of black voters and other colored voters,” it said the contribution.
Democrats won both seats in the Georgia Senate in the January runoff, and in November President Joe Biden became the first Democrat to win the Peach State presidential election in nearly three decades.
Despite the lack of widespread security issues with nationwide voting, GOP lawmakers in battlefield states across the country have pushed for additional voting restrictions.
In Pennsylvania, Republicans are trying to repeal an apology bill passed in 2019 through state GOP-led legislation.
And in Arizona, a GOP-sponsored bill would repeal the state’s permanent pre-election list, which allows a voter to automatically receive a ballot in the mail every time an election is held.