This is very misleading at best. As critics have rightly said, the law poses significant new barriers to voting. It also gives the Republican-controlled state government new powers to control the conduct of elections in democratic circles.

However, the law contains some provisions that can reasonably be called provocative, and critics have not always accurately described the entire text.

Increased state power over counties

The new law removes the Georgia Secretary of State from chairing the state’s electoral committee. (Former President Donald Trump and other Republicans have attacked current Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for refusing to go along with Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 election.) Instead, the law leaves the state legislature – which was under unified Republican control since 2005 – Appointment of an “impartial” CEO.

And under the new law, if a majority of the five-member board decides that a district’s electoral officials have done their job poorly, the board can suspend those officials and replace them with someone the board has handpicked to serve with the temporary superintendent same powers as officials.

The new law allows the state executive to incapacitate election officials in up to four districts at the same time. A majority of the board would have to decide that the officials have shown “disregard, administrative offense or gross negligence” in at least two elections within a period of two years or that the district officials have committed at least three violations of the electoral law or the board of directors in the last two parliamentary elections and did not “sufficiently heal” these violations.

This provision worries officials and activists in large democratic circles such as Fulton County, Atlanta, whose electoral administration has been attacked by former Trump and other Republicans.

Guaranteed – but also limited – dropboxes

The new law requires every Georgia county to have at least one postal ballot box. When Dropboxing was first used in Georgia in 2020, the boxes were allowed by specific pandemic-related rules rather than long-term laws.

However, the new law also restricts how many Dropboxes each county can have, how many hours and days the boxes can be open and where they can be located.

The law states that each county cannot have more than one mailbox per early election site or per 100,000 active registered voters, whichever is smaller. This provision will drastically reduce the number of mailboxes available in some large counties. Fulton County, for example, says it would rise from 38 Dropboxes in the November election to eight in the future. In addition, the law stipulates that post boxes must be placed in election offices or in places for early voting. And it is said that the boxes can only be available during the hours that early voting is available. (If the governor declares an emergency, the boxes can be placed outside.) In 2020, mailboxes could be placed outside, available 24 hours a day and open until the evening of election day.

Another early election day in primaries and general elections

There was extensive media coverage of the first Republican proposals to eliminate or greatly reduce early voting on Sundays when some black churchgoers take part in “souls to vote” campaigns. However, those proposals didn’t make it into the final bill that Kemp signed – which is actually causing early voting to be expanded in many counties for primary and general elections. Runoff elections are another story we’ll get into in a moment. Under the weekend provisions of the previous law, counties were only required to open for early voting on a Saturday during the primaries and general elections from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays were not mentioned. According to the new law, two Saturdays of early voting are mandatory – at least from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. if the districts so wish – and two Sundays are expressly optional during “normal business hours” on weekdays Counties can decide what is “normal”. The new law provides for a certain period of time during which early voting must be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, it also means that counties can open the early voting as early as 7 a.m. and end until 7 p.m. if they so choose. In the 2020 general election, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Clayton County, and various other Democratic strongholds held their early election times between 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. so they wouldn’t be forced to cut.

Shortened drains

The law significantly shortens both the overall duration of runoff campaigns and the deadline for early voting for runoff elections. (In some context: the Democrats won both runoff elections in the U.S. Senate in January 2021, which gave them control of the chamber.)

The new law sets the deadline for the runoff election four weeks after the parliamentary elections, compared to the previous nine weeks. The new law also eliminates two of the three weeks early voting that was previously required for runoff elections.

The new law stipulates that early voting must take place at least Monday through Friday in the week before the runoff election. It also says the early runoff must begin “as soon as possible,” so some counties may offer more than the only Monday through Friday period. But other counties may not.

Big changes in postal voting

The law makes a number of changes to postal voting. In particular, it shortens the duration of the postal voting period and changes the identification requirements for postal voting rights.

Under the new law, ballot papers can be sent to voters 29 days before an election, compared to the previous 49 days before an election. Those entitled to vote may request a postal vote a maximum of 78 days before the election (previously 180 days). And the applications must be received by the electoral officials no later than 11 days before the election, a shortening of the previous deadline of four days before the election. State and local administrations are now prohibited from sending unsolicited applications for postal voting. (Because of the pandemic, Raffensperger had applications for the June 2020 primaries sent to all active registered voters.) And third groups can face fines if they send applications to people who have already submitted an election application. The law also does away with the signature matching system Georgia used to verify the identity of absent voters. Instead, voters must provide their Georgia driver’s license number, the number on their state ID, or the last four digits of their Social Security number. If they do not have any of these, they can submit one of several alternative forms of identification, e.g. B. A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, or government check. Proponents of the change say this identification system is more precise than subjective attempts to match handwriting, while critics note that the new requirements will place a disproportionate burden on black voters.

A food and drink restriction

Another section of the law, criticized by Biden and others, restricts how food and drink can be provided to voters near a polling station.

The law makes it an administrative offense for “any person” to give or give “money or gifts” including “food and drink” to any voter within a polling station within 50 meters of the building where a polling station is located or “within 25 feet of any voter queuing at any polling station to cast their vote.”

This provision is in the same paragraph as a provision that prohibits campaigning activities in these locations, but the provision not only prohibits people running a campaign from distributing food and drink. It means “any person”, not just activists.

There is one exception, however: Electoral officials are allowed to “provide self-service water from an unsupervised container to an upcoming voter”. And it is perhaps worth noting that voters are not prohibited from buying food and drink for themselves; The determination is about other people providing “money or gifts” including food and drink.

Other provisions

Again, we cannot list every single one of the dozen provisions included in the invoice. But here are a few others.

The law allows the Attorney General to set up a “hotline” for voters to report alleged voter intimidation and illegal voting.

The law does not allow counties to use mobile voting facilities – like the two voting buses Fulton County used in 2020 – unless the governor declares an emergency and only then to supplement the capacity of a particular polling station, in the emergency occurred.

The law guarantees that any Georgian voter can contest an unlimited number of other people’s voting rights.

The law states that anyone voting in the correct district but the wrong district will not have their preliminary ballot counted unless it is cast after 5 p.m. and the voter swears they will not be in the correct district on time can .

The law provides that in primaries and general elections, along with a standard ballot paper, a ranking list will be sent to voters in the military and abroad. In the event of a runoff, the ranking list ballot will be counted.

The law requires that if districts of a certain sizeable size queued for more than an hour in the previous general election, or if the polls did not complete an hour after the official deadline in those previous general elections, district officials or procure you the district size more election workers, voting machines or both for the next election.

CNN’s Tara Subramaniam contributed to this article.