What Georgia’s New Voting Law Does-Nine Facts

Georgia Election Law on page 98Passed through the GOP-controlled legislature and was signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp at the end of March, causing national debate. Voting rights Triggered by 2020 elections..

Democrats and voting groups are outraged by changes in voter ID provisions and postal voting, and believe that some minorities and poor voters will find it more difficult to vote.Within days, major companies, including Georgia-based Coca-Cola and Delta, along with CBS News’ parent company ViacomCBS, opposed the bill and Major League Baseball Pulled that all-star game From Georgia the day after President Biden threw his support behind the idea.

In drafting the bill, Georgia legislators voted, including banning Sunday voting, a tradition of black voters following church worship, and abolishing the absentee ballot, a bill passed by the Republican Party in 2005. We discussed some notable changes in the law. Of those, it became a new law.

The impact of the new law on Georgia’s 7.4 million voters is mixed. While new restrictions on absentee ballots are included, opportunities for early voting are expanding. The law also formalizes the provisions introduced to address voters during the coronavirus pandemic and changes the composition of the State Election Commission responsible for conducting all Georgia elections.

The law has made significant changes to the way states hold elections in the future. Expanded access to early voting for some Georgia voters, added ID requirements for absentee ballots, systematized the use of Dropbox with strict rules on how to use it, and systematized state and local elections. Set new rules for the authorities.

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Here are nine facts about the new Georgia voting law:

1. Expanded early voting in most Georgia counties

Nearly 2.7 million Georgians voted early in the 2020 general election. The new law will increase the chances of early voting in most Georgia counties. Early voting begins on Monday, 22 days before the election date, and lasts for at least 17 days until Friday, before the election.

The bill requires the county to vote at least twice early and has the option of offering votes on Sundays as well. Previously, Georgia required only one Saturday for early voting. Many of the larger counties inhabited by most Georgia voters already offer early voting on Saturday, but new legislation gives access to early voting in many smaller, rural counties. It will be enlarged. The county must vote early from at least 9 am to 5 pm, but can offer votes from 7 am to 7 pm if they choose to provide an extended time.

2. Identification is required not only for face-to-face voting but also for mail voting

Previously in Georgia, ID forms were required for direct voting, but not for mail absentee ballots. Under the new law, you must also provide your driver’s license number or state ID number when requesting and returning ballots by mail. If the voter does not have one, you can submit another copy of your ID.County Registration Authority or Georgia Driver Services Authority Can be issued Free state ID card. If a voter returns an absentee ballot, they can also provide the last four digits of their Social Security number instead of their ID number.

This provision replaces the signature requirement to verify an individual’s identity and is opposed by voting groups pointing out some studies showing that voter ID requirements tend to affect voters disproportionately. It has been. At the same time, votes are often rejected if the signature is incomplete or inconsistent. In the June 2020 primary, about 3,200 of the 1.1 million postal votes were rejected due to signature issues. CBS News Analysis last year. As a result, identity requirements can help election managers handle votes more efficiently.

3. Absentee Voting: The new rules will regulate dropboxes and reduce the time frame for requesting and replying to email votes.

Although Georgia has been absentee ballots without excuses since 2005, the state has allowed the use of safe dropboxes as a way to return ballots until the 2020 elections in response to a pandemic. did not. The new law requires at least one dropbox per county, but limits where and when you can access it.

They must be located in the clerk’s office or voting area, are only accessible during early voting hours, and are closed at the end of the early voting period. This is a departure from the 2020 election, when Dropbox was available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also, there can only be one dropbox for every 100,000 voters in the county.

Under the new law, the timeline for requesting and returning ballots has also been shortened. Previously, voters could request a vote 180 days after the election. Now they can request them 78 days before the election. The ballot application must be received by the clerk at least 11 days before the election, that is, before the previous deadline.

State government officials cannot submit unsolicited voting request forms to voters. Only voters who request an absentee ballot will receive them. Third parties can continue to submit voting request forms, but the front of these forms must be marked as “This is not an official government publication, provided by a government agency, or voted.”

4. Distribution of food and drink to voters by non-voting workers is prohibited, but “self-service” water stands are allowed

One of the most controversial provisions is that the state of Georgia bans giving food and water to voters participating in the vote.In the primaries last June, the constituencies around the state Long line, And the voting group quickly pointed out that late spring and summer heat make the ban on food and water distribution particularly troublesome. Volunteers and third-party groups regularly give voters in line water on hot days and hot drinks on cold days.

Georgia has already banned campaigns or other groups from distributing or displaying campaign materials within 150 feet of the polling place or 25 feet of voters in line at the polling place, and new legislation is now banning them. It is forbidden to give gifts to voters. Not limited to food and drink. ”

Gabriel Sterling, one of Georgia’s Chief Executive Officers, said: CBS series WMAZ The ban is intended to prevent groups from using food and water to campaign within restricted areas. The law provides an exception that allows voting workers to install “self-service water” so that people waiting in line can continue to hydrate.

5. Changes to face-to-face voting have been implemented to address long lines and reduce provisional voting.

The new Georgia law has made some changes to face-to-face voting, including efforts to ease the long line and changes to the rules for provisional voting.

If a voter goes to the wrong constituency in his county before 5 pm, polling place workers direct the person to the correct constituency instead of instructing the voter to vote provisionally. Is supposed to do. Voters who arrive at the wrong polling place after 5 pm can vote provisionally if they cannot reach the correct precincts before the vote is over.

In November, about 8,200 tentative votes were cast because voters were not in the right constituencies. Nearly 6,800 of those votes were accepted. Overall, 17,697 provisional votes were cast in the 2020 general election, with 11,781 approved.

The law is also trying to deal with long lines, and counties with more than 2,000 constituencies in the last election, or counties that have had them wait more than an hour to vote, are elected. You need to add a ward or add resources to reduce latency.

6. The State Election Commission has new powers and is not chaired by the Secretary of State.

The five State Election Commission will no longer be chaired by the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State will become a “non-voting, ex officio member.” Republican Secretary of State Brad Rafence has been at the center of attacks by fellow Republicans by opposed attacks from former President Trump.

The chair and members of the board are elected by parliament and give more power to the Republican-controlled state legislature. However, board members cannot serve in the state legislature at the same time. And while being elected by the legislature, the chair is supposed to be independent. The new law prohibits the chair from actively participating in political parties or organizations, donating to political movements, or running for public office in the two years prior to his term as chair.

The state Election Commission has new powers over local election officials. For example, after an initial preliminary investigation and hearing, you can suspend a county or city superintendent based on the implementation or breach of Election Commission rules. You may then appoint a temporary replacement, but you cannot suspend more than four employees.

7. Results will be reported sooner

CBS News did not predict the winner at Presidential election In Georgia, partly because it took the county a very long time to count the influx of mail ballots until 10 days after the election day. SB 202 has some new provisions that may lead to faster results in future elections. Due to the pandemic, the State Election Commission passed an emergency rule in 2020, allowing electoral workers to begin processing absentee ballots 15 days before the November election day and in the January elections. ..

The new law provides for changes. This means that workers can start processing absentee ballots 15 days before the election date for future elections, but they cannot aggregate. County authorities are allowed to start absentee ballot counting after 7 am on election day, but cannot report results until the vote is complete. The county must report the return from the absentee ballot by 5 pm the day after the election day. Otherwise, you may face an investigation.

The new law also requires election authorities to post the total number of votes cast, including election dates, early votes, and absentee votes, by 10 pm on election days. The goal is to get a clearer picture of how many votes were cast early in the counting process. Under the new law, electoral workers will not be able to stop voting once they start voting, which can produce faster results. The new procedure shortens the timeline for counties to prove results. 6 days instead of 10 days.

8. Voters can call a new hotline containing complaints claiming voter threats or illegal activity

The new law allows the Attorney General of Georgia to set up a hotline for voters to file complaints and allegations of intimidation or misconduct. Georgians can also call anonymously. The Attorney General can review each allegation to determine if it needs to be investigated or prosecuted.

Apart from this, the provisions of SB 202 allow voters to challenge and vote for another voter’s qualifications indefinitely.

Prior to voting in the 2020 elections, a conservative group, True the Vote, challenged the eligibility of 360,000 voters, but the court blocked its efforts. Allowing voters to take unlimited challenges can confuse electoral authorities and make it difficult for voters to prove their eligibility when they may not have done anything wrong. The State Election Commission can establish procedures designed so that illegal challenges do not burden legitimate voters.

9. The final voting period will be shortened by 5 weeks

Following the spill of Georgia’s attention-grabbing Senate, which brought control of the Senate to the Democratic Party, the state is changing its spill process. The law still requires candidates to win a majority of votes to avoid voting, but SB202 has shortened the voting period.

Previously, the general election and the spill were separated by nine weeks, but the new law requires the spill to occur 28 days after the election. By law, early voting must start “as soon as possible” before the final vote, but early voting should only take place Monday through Friday. Some counties may not offer early weekend votes during the final vote, depending on how long it has taken to complete work since the last election.

Due to the short time to vote, military and foreign voters will rank their votes in the general or primary elections.

What Georgia’s New Voting Law Does-Nine Facts

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