SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Rebecca Rolfes knows more about voting than many of us. As president of Coastal Georgia’s League of Women Voters, she had a front-row seat on questions related to Georgia’s much-discussed November election, and then the January runoff for two US Senate candidates.
“The big result for us as a non-partisan organization was the large participation,” said Rolfes. “I mean the record in the general election and then the turnout in the runoff, and no one ever votes in a runoff.”
More than five million votes were cast in November. More than a million were cast by postal vote.
According to Rolfes, countless fraud allegations have never been proven. She points out that Georgia has been under investigation, a series of legal proceedings and three recounts.
According to Rolfes, the electoral system worked, which is why she has been attentive since the beginning of the Georgian legislature session. A group of Republican lawmakers is already proposing bills to change electoral laws. The changes would eliminate automatic voter registration when someone gets a driver’s license, reduce the number of people who could vote by postal vote, and eliminate the mailboxes for postal votes.
“We think the bills we saw are completely unnecessary,” said Rolfes.
The drop box issue hit near home when the league raised money last fall during the pandemic and was able to buy nine drop boxes for the Chatham County area. According to Rolfes, the use of the boxes became important for many residents, especially when concerns emerged about how long it would take to mail a ballot back to you.
“The boxes did their job effectively, people liked them, they were in suitable safe places, they have 24-hour surveillance cameras with 30-day backup (video), so again someone is an excuse to say this Boxes are not safe. You are safe. “
Bills are also being proposed that would reduce the number of postal votes eligible to vote. Currently, Georgi has an out-of-office voting without an excuse rule, which means anyone of any age can request one. The proposed changes will make the post office available on ballot papers only to those ages 7 and up, those with disabilities, and those who can demonstrate that they cannot be in the state at the time of voting.
“For the rest of us, it was the safest way to choose, especially in the face of a pandemic. So why forbid it?” Asked Rolfes.
While lawmakers say they are trying to secure the system and give voters more confidence, Rolfes says it will undermine confidence in the system.
“They say the intent is to make the choice safer. Well, there was nothing wrong with the choice, the system worked the way it was supposed to. People were talking and the general assembly didn’t like what they were hearing, ”said Rolfes.
The record turnout helped Democrat Joe Biden win the state of Georgia, the first time a Democrat has won since 1994.
In January, Democrats Jon Osoff and Raphael Warnock won the Senate seats and helped turn the US Senate around.