What does Georgia’s new electoral legislation say?

What is in the new electoral reform law

A deep look at the content of the new electoral reform law.

Much of the talks about the new electoral law in Georgia centered on banning the distribution of water and snacks to voters, but the 98-page bill included many more changes.

One of the biggest revisions to the “Electoral Integrity Act of 2021” is the role of the Foreign Minister. According to the new law, the secretary is no longer the chairman of the state electoral committee, but rather a member of the board who is not entitled to vote.

In the future, the General Assembly will elect an “impartial” chairman to oversee the Board of Directors.

ALSO SEE: Gwinnett Solicitor Will Not Track “Food and Water” Provision in New Electoral Law

The law also gives the state election committee the power to suspend and even remove up to four local returning officers at the same time, and to appoint temporary directors in their place.

One-to-one with sec. Raffensperger

Claire Simms of FOX 5 talks about the state’s new electoral reform law in this in-depth interview with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

In the future, the districts will not be able to accept any third-party funding such as grants for election administration. In 2020, several Georgia counties used grants to purchase postal voting boxes and provide personal protective equipment and hazard allowances to election workers.

If voters had to wait more than an hour to check-in in their constituency on election day, the updated law requires local officials to take action before the next election. For districts with more than 2,000 assigned voters, they need to reduce that number or add voting machines and election workers.

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The law prohibits the use of mobile constituencies unless it is an emergency declared by the governor.

The “Electoral Integrity Act of 2021” extends the early in-person voting to 17 days by adding a Saturday and gives counties the option to include two additional Sundays for pre-voting.

In contrast, the application deadline for postal votes is shorter. The new deadline for applying for a postal vote is 11 days before election day and voters must include their Georgian driver’s license or State ID number on their application. Voters without government issued ID must include a photocopy of a utility bill, paycheck, or government check.

RELATED: Georgia House Spokesperson Announces Proposal To Provide Residents With ID Cards Free

When it comes time to return their postal ballot papers, voters in large counties will find fewer mailboxes. The state allowed the counties to set up mailboxes in accordance with an emergency rule of the state electoral committee. The new law makes Dropboxing permanent. So all 159 counties must have one, but the number of mailboxes in each county is limited to one per 100,000 registered voters. Fulton County had around 40 dropboxes as of November 2020 and would be capped at around 8.

The law also restricts the placement and use of Dropboxes. You must be in an early voting location except during a public health emergency. The boxes can only be opened during the preselection times.

In 2020, the Foreign Minister’s Office sent postal ballot applications to all active voters in Georgia because of the pandemic. The new law prohibits state and local officials from sending such requests in the future without a specific request from a voter.

MORE: What is Georgia’s new electoral law doing?

The law also restricts Georgians’ preliminary voting. Before this law, voters who went to the wrong district on election day could vote a preliminary ballot. Preliminary ballot papers only count if a voter casts in after 5 p.m. and explains why they cannot arrive in their assigned constituency before the election closes.

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