Georgia GOP proposes strict absentee voting measures following runoff
Republican leaders suggested new policies such as requiring voters to have an excuse to cast an absentee ballot.
In Georgia, Republicans have moved to tighten the procedures involving absentee ballots following the historic wins in the runoff election.
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported some GOP legislators proposed a series of rules to limit the access citizens have beyond in-person voting. Suggested measures include requiring an excuse to cast an absentee ballot, banning absentee ballot drop boxes, requiring a photo ID to be included when returning an absentee ballot, eliminating mobile voting buses during early voting, and banning governments and organizations from mailing absentee ballot applications.
State Sen. Burt Jones expressed his opinion that in-person voting is more secure to the AJC.
“When you don’t have a secure chain of custody, particularly with drop boxes, there’s no reason for that to be in the process,” Jones said. “You’ve got three weeks of early voting and Saturday voting. You’ve given ample time and opportunities for people to get the effort to go in to vote.”
Currently, 16 states mandate voters to present a valid reason to vote outside a polling place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures AJC reported. This proposed measure is backed by the Senate Majority Caucus and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
In Georgia, during the 2020 presidential election, more residents decided to vote by absentee ballot surged this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the news outlet, 1.3 million Georgians voted from home during the coronavirus pandemic of the 5 million people who voted in the general election. Previously, only 5% of voters used absentee ballots, compared to the 26% in the 2020 presidential election.
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Democrats have countered the proposed measures and claim the GOP hopes to change the rules due to their recent loss. The results of both the November election and the January runoff were historical wins in favor of the Democrats. President-elect Joe Biden was able to secure the votes of a typically red state. Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue for key seats in the U.S. senate.
“They lost, and now they want to change the rules to give themselves a competitive advantage,” said House Minority Leader James Beverly to AJC. “The pendulum swings, and people can see through this foolishness in the truest sense of suppression and disenfranchisement.”
President Donald Trump attempted to overturn the results of the Georgia vote. In a leaked phone call with Raffensperger, POTUS begged the official to miraculously find more votes in his favor.
“There’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated,” he said according to theGrio.
The NAACP has called for an official investigation into Trump for targeting Black voters in the Peach state.
“There is an overall picture that has developed. Obviously, [President Trump] has targeted Black electorates. Places that are majority Black populations,” NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell said exclusively to theGrio. “Whether it is Detroit, Fulton County, Philadelphia, it is obvious he is going after Black voters. And that is more disenfranchisement and voter suppression.”
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