Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) just signed an election bill into law that will strengthen the state’s voting rules by limiting the number of ballot drop boxes and establishing photo ID requirements for absentee voters.
Senate Bill 202 passed the Georgia’s General Assembly 100-75 in the House and 34-20 in the Senate. The bill focuses on additional voting rules to make future elections safer and more secure for Georgians.
The bill will “require voters to provide a driver’s license or state-issued ID card number to request and submit absentee ballots, and it would curtail the use of ballot drop boxes, limiting their placement to early-voting locations and making them accessible only while the precinct is open.”
Other features of Senate Bill 202 include the Georgia State Elections Board overseeing county election boards in areas where oversight is needed. The runoff election period will also shorten from nine weeks after the general election to four weeks.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) tweeted, “2020 saw rapid and inconsistent changes to our elections. Today’s passage of SB202 will restore confidence by strengthening election integrity & expanding access to voting. Thank you to the Georgia Legislature & Governor for your leadership in this effort.”
2020 saw rapid and inconsistent changes to our elections.
Today’s passage of SB202 will restore confidence by strengthening election integrity & expanding access to voting.
Thank you to the Georgia Legislature & Governor for your leadership in this effort.
Full statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/9ASeJuGtin
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) March 25, 2021
Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia Democrat candidate and voting rights leader, argued, “What’s likely to come for SB 202: quick passage by GA Senate & a speedy signature by Kemp,” Abrams tweeted. “Why? To avoid actual analysis + public awareness of how SB 202 hurts voters of color, increases taxes on struggling families & steals power from local governments.”
Republicans have responded the bill improves voting rights for all people and does not place additional burden on people of color. The goal is to increase public confidence following controversies in Georgia following the 2020 presidential election.
The measure will also help in future runoff elections. In January 20221, Georgia held an important runoff for two U.S. Senators that changed the balance of power to Democrats.