Top line

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill introducing numerous new electoral restrictions after the State House and Senate passed the laws in quick succession on Thursday despite Republican efforts to enact sweeping new electoral restrictions, were pushed back.

In this December 8, 2020 file photo, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) speaks to reporters during a Covid-19 … [+] Update at the Capitol in Atlanta. (AP Photo / John Bazemore, File)

Associated press

Key factors

The House passed Senate Law 202 on Thursday by a straight line of 100-75 votes, with Republicans in a majority, followed by the passage of the GOP-controlled Senate 34-20.

The 95-page bill adds new provisions to state electoral laws that require a driver’s license number or other form of proof of identity for postal voting requests and allow no more than one ballot box per 100,000 residents in any county.

The legislation also shortens the early voting period for runoff elections to just one week.

The draft law also provides for the elected State Secretary on the State Electoral Board to be replaced by a chairman appointed by the legislature.

Main critic

According to the Atlanta Journal’s constitution, around 100 people protested the bill in front of the state capital on Thursday. Activists from the AME Sixth Episcopal District are also reportedly planning a boycott of Coca-Cola, accusing the Atlanta-based beverage giant of “deafening silence” over voting restrictions legislation.

Key background

Georgia Senate Act 202 is one of more than 250 laws filed in 43 states to restrict access to ballot papers. However, it seems to have a far greater impact. Other laws tabled in more solid democratic states have little chance of passing, and in more solid republican states they are unlikely to have a direct impact on election results. Emotions are high in Georgia, where the Democrats have swept the presidential elections and the two runoff elections of the US Senate in recent months – albeit with extremely little leeway. And with false claims of widespread electoral fraud in the state, spearheaded by former President Donald Trump, Republicans have taken the Georgian legislature into a push to tighten restrictions on future elections. Even a relatively small group of people affected in future elections could have a big impact, as President Joe Biden promoted the state with only about 12,000 votes out of more than 5 million ballots cast in Georgia for the presidential election.

tangent

Biden slammed the effort to curtail GOP voters during a press conference Thursday – the first of his presidency. Biden called the effort “un-American” and “sick”.

further reading

Georgia House is about to pass comprehensive law that would restrict access to voting (CNN).

Voting advocates plan economic boycott to put pressure on Georgian companies (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Here are the ways Republicans are trying to restrict access to voting (Forbes)

Biden says he plans to run for re-election in 2024 (Forbes)