Donald Trump’s repeated claims of election fraud following his loss to President Joe Biden triggered a chain of reactions concerning voting on the county level. In the middle of the storm, you’ll find Georgia, whose first reaction was to change the voting rules in a 98-page document signed by Governor Brian Kemp. The new measures seek to restore confidence in Georgia’s elections.
The highest attention-grabbing element of the new law is that it prohibits handing out foodstuff and drinks to the queue voters. The new rule orders political representatives to stay 150 feet away from the polling station and 25 feet from the queued voters.
This law seeks to crack down on agents from advocacy groups or political organizations from influencing voters with handouts just before they cast a ballot. Polling stations are only allowed to provide self-serve water dispensers. This, however, isn’t a requirement, leaving voters at the mercies of the registrars.
The new rules compel absentee voters to provide a copy of Georgia ID instead of signatures. They also state that ballots cannot be requested earlier than 78 days to the elections. Similarly, absentees cannot request a ballot when the election date is less than 11 days away.
To reduce the long voting lines experienced by Georgian voters, there has been a significant change in the voting hours. Under the new law, voting will only occur between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during weekdays and Saturdays. However, registrars have the liberty to extend the voting hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. if the need arises. Registrars are also free to include two Sundays to the voting days, but they can’t extend the hours beyond 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
While Georgia’s new voting law cause many changes, these are the ones that grabbed the most attention. They have received a significant amount of criticism and support from both celebrities and activists. All in all, the new rules are bent towards restoring confidence in the Georgian electoral process.
To read all the changes to the law please click here.