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If it is not broke do not fix it…or do you? (Part 2. Georgia)

House Bill 531 could change voting rights in Georgia. See what's in the GOP-backed bill.


Georgia Republican lawmakers pushed legislation through the House that could roll back voting access across the state. The question readers again should ask themselves is why? When there was no proof of mass fraud, why the change. Again, this is up to you to decide.


House Bill 531 moved through the House by a 97-72 vote on March 5th and now moves to the state Senate for more debate and another round of voting.


The bill covers everything from restrictions on ballot drop boxes to limits on early voting hours on weekends.


Here is more about Georgia House Bill 531.


Do you need a photo ID for absentee ballot?


If you are looking for an absentee ballot in the next election, you may need your photo ID under the bill. This coincides with the closure of many locations where people would have access in obtaining a valid Georgia ID. Especially in places where rural or disadvantaged voters would have access.

When applying for a ballot, people would need to send a copy of their photo ID along with their application for an absentee ballot.


Restrictions on ballot boxes and voting times:


Another proposal in the GOP-backed bill is restricting where absentee ballot drop boxes would be located and when people could drop them off. This means that ballot boxes would be in doors and in most cases during business hours.


The bill also restricts early voting hours on weekends. The early voting would be eliminated on Sundays where most African Americans vote which is commonly referred to “Souls at the Poles”. Also restricted days and times to restrict voter accessibility.


Georgia's runoff election period would be shortened and require counties to add more staff.


Secretary of state power:


Another stipulation of House Bill 531 strips the secretary of state of their role as chair of the State Election Board.


Voting absentee in Georgia:


House Bill 531 is one of a handful of election bills being considered by lawmakers this legislative season.


Also, on March 1, the state Senate Ethics Committee approved a Republican-backed bill that would limit who can vote absentee in Georgia to those 65 and older, people with a disability and people who will be away from their precinct on Election Day.


If passed, it would do away with no-excuse absentee voting originally approved by a Republican-controlled Legislature in 2005. It could soon move to the full Senate for a vote.


To read the bill please click the link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 531 (ga.gov)


We will keep you posted.



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