General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Specifically, how does the Georgia election reform restrict voting?

Asked by crazyguy (2941points) 2 weeks ago

Georgia was a big surprise in the 20–21 elections. After voting for Republicans for decades, it became blue!

Most Republicans in the State suspected some hanky panky, but lacked evidence. Therefore, all legal challenges to election results were dismissed.

The Georgia legislature, however, made note of alleged abuses and drafted SB 202, which was signed into law by Governor Kemp on Thursday, March 25. Here is a link to the actual bill:

There have been many news reports that the legislation will result in reducing Democrat voter turnout, particularly minorities. However, parsing the language yields little evidence of that.

Can you point me in the right direction?

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22 Answers

hello321's avatar

Have you considered quitting golf so you can move to Georgia and become an anti-democracy activist? This seems to be your passion. You could put all of your efforts into suppressing the vote. You have the means and you don’t work. Go for it.

si3tech's avatar

@crazyguy I woulld like that cleared up for me also.

zenvelo's avatar

Here are 16 changes designed to restrict of hamper minority voting:

Voters will now have less time to request absentee ballots.

There are strict new ID requirements for absentee ballots.

It’s now illegal for election officials to mail out absentee ballot applications to all voters.

Drop boxes still exist … but barely.

Mobile voting centers (think an R.V. where you can vote) are essentially banned.

Early voting is expanded in a lot of small counties, but probably not in more populous ones.

Offering food or water to voters waiting in line now risks misdemeanor charges. (designed tp discourage voting in counties that have cut down on polling places in minority neighborhoods, a common practice in Georgia)

If you go to the wrong polling place, it will be (even) harder to vote.

If election problems arise, a common occurrence, it is now more difficult to extend voting hours.

With a mix of changes to vote-counting, high-turnout elections will probably mean a long wait for results.

Election officials can no longer accept third-party funding (a measure that nods to right-wing conspiracy theories).

With an eye toward voter fraud, the state attorney general will manage an election hotline. (voter fraud has not been demonstrated).

The Republican-controlled legislature has more control over the State Election Board. (overreach to disrupt bipartisan panels)

The secretary of state is removed as a voting member of the State Election Board. (They didn;t like that he would not throw out 11,000+ ballots for Biden)

The G.O.P.-led legislature is empowered to suspend county election officials. (Legislature over reach to overturn local decisions)

Runoff elections will happen faster — and could become harder to manage.

flutherother's avatar

You link contains these words “The changes made in this legislation in 2021 are designed to address the lack of elector confidence in the election system on all sides of the political spectrum”. If that is true then it’s clear the bill is failing in its purpose and should be scrapped.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You realize, of course, that the only people who ‘don’t have confidence’ are the same people who believe that Jews are shooting lasers from outer space.

dabbler's avatar

What is notable about all your questions @crazyguy, is that you put a lot of energy into ferreting out right-wing talking points about an issue, but somehow seem to have avoided exposure to the prodigious body of information to the contrary.
Then you pretend there is a question.
Notable indeed, your game is obvious. Your belligerence to replies confirms you aren’t interested in them. What’s not obvious is why you do it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@dabbler I agree but that’s not why I am responding.

As a person who lives in Georgia, I’m probably closer to the situation than anyone here.

What amuses / astounds / disgusts me is how much bullshit is created and passed around by people outside the state about the situation here. And 90% of it – more from the right than the left – is projecting their own political whims and grudges (that have nothing to do with Georgia) on this state.

So you have someone like @crazyguy or the late Hypocrisy Central, or @si3tech spewing their right wing script in an arena where they know nothing local.

The fact is that the Ga. legislature pulled a fast one and pushed through some really nasty (and probably illegal) legislation in the late days of the legislative session. They thought that Delta and Coke would be slow to react, and they were. And the democrats in the state legislature don’t have the votes, because the rural areas have republican legislators.

And now the rest of the country, and the big corporations have noticed the republican chicanery are are trying to do something about it. They may or not be successful. But my take is the the Ga. legislature overreached. They got greedy. If their legislation had stopped with 2–3 of the changes, they might have gotten away with it. But they threw everything they could into the legislation, which sent up a red flag. That was their stupidity and poor strategy. They should have thought small.

Governor Kemp is toast. He won’t be reelected, because he crossed Trump (and the Trumpies won’t forget it), and he stole the 2018 governorship by being the Secretary of State and essentially in charge of counting his own votes. Shameful. The Dems don’t trust him worth a damn.

Bottom line, we need more informed chatter here, not just rehashing of Trumpilistic bullshit.

zenvelo's avatar

@dabbler “What’s not obvious is why you do it.

There is no subtlety; it is bare-facedly obvious.

@crazyguy is a GOP/Trumpista loyalist who does not like the fact that the Democrats took back the White House and Senate, and, like most Republicans, knows they cannot win on policy so must win by not allowing people to vote.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo Thanks for really answering my question. Let me respond in kind.

1. Absentee ballots: Current law allows six months to request early ballots. In other words the ballot is not even ready when the first requests start coming in. The new language is: Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 21–2-219 or for advance voting described in subsection (d) of Code Section 21–2-385, not more earlier than 180 78 days or less than 11 days
“The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall mail or issue official absentee ballots to all eligible applicants not more than 49 29 days but not less than 45 25 days prior to any presidential preference primary, general primary other than a municipal general primary, general election other than a municipal general election, or special primary or special election in which there is a candidate for a federal office on the ballot; 22 days prior to any municipal general primary or municipal general election; and as soon as possible prior to any runoff.”

2. ID Requirements. Yes, indeed. Did you know that the percentage of voters in Georgia without ID’s total 3%? The new law makes it easy to get an ID free of cost. All a voter needs is his/her birth certificate and a utility bill. The law actually says the following:

A photo identity document or approved non-photo identity document that includes full legal name and date of birth
Documentation showing the voter’s date of birth
Evidence that the applicant is a registered voter
Documentation showing the applicant’s name and residential address

The only document stated above that may present a problem is
Evidence that the applicant is a registered voter

However, since the request for a voter id is made at the Registrar’s office, I am certain that a way can be found around this requirement.

3. Absentee ballots to all registered voters: This was a special modification made because of the pandemic. Why is it a problem for a voter to request an absentee ballot (there is no excuse required) between 79 and 39 days before an election?

4. Drop Boxes: The number of drop boxes allowed has been reduced. However, each drop box shall be in a designated location, and guarded during the times it is open. In addition, absentee ballots can be mailed without a stamp.

5. Mobile voting centers: Again an allowance because of the pandemic. Do you really believe that all covid allowances should be made permanent?

6. Early voting: I have no idea what you are talking about here. Early voting hours, if anything, are extended.

7. Food and water: Electioneering at and near polling places is banned in almost all states. In the guise of offering food and water, party volunteers often did electioneer. Such practices are now banned. There is nothing preventing voters from bringing their own food and water, or availing of whatever is provided by poll workers.

No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast:
(1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established;
(2) Within any polling place; or
(3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.
These restrictions shall not apply to conduct occurring in private offices or areas which cannot be seen or heard by such electors.
(e) This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer from distributing materials, as required by law, which are necessary for the purpose of instructing electors or from distributing materials prepared by the Secretary of State which are designed solely for the purpose of encouraging voter participation in the election being conducted or from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.

8. Wrong precinct: Yes, you are correct. Te new law seems convoluted. I would rather say such votes shall not be allowed.

9. Extend voting hours: No change as far as I can see.

10. Long wait for results: If anything, the proposed changes will speed up the release of results.

11. Third party funding: What exactly is wrong with the ban on third party funding?

12. Election hotline: Why would you and other Democrats object to this?

13. State Election Board: Instead of one person? What exactly is wrong with the idea?

14. Secretary of State: Why should so much power be vested in one person?

15. Powers of State Election Board: There are a lot of checks and balances on the State Election Board. It is true that the State Election Board can fire a county election board but only after three incidents of malfeasance or mess-ups in two consecutive elections. The courts can always adjudicate where needed.

16. Less time for runoff elections: How much time is ideal? Currently nine weeks are allowed, the modification is to 4 weeks.

crazyguy's avatar

@elbanditoroso The fact is that the Ga. legislature pulled a fast one and pushed through some really nasty (and probably illegal) legislation in the late days of the legislative session.

Specifics, please!!!

crazyguy's avatar

@dabbler the prodigious body of information to the contrary. Do you mind sharing some of that?

crazyguy's avatar

@elbanditoroso I would say that any thinking person would ask him/herself why the Democrats oppose rather obvious changes like voter ID and come to the rather obvious conclusion that the Democrats realize their own limitations.

crazyguy's avatar

@flutherother Rather than look at your perception of Republican motivation for the changes, why don’t you look at the changes yourself and ask yourself why the Dems are up in arms over something so obvious as imposing the same requirements for absentee ballots as for in-person ballots. What could be the Dems’ motivation?

flutherother's avatar

@crazyguy That wasn’t my perception it was the justification for the bill as given by those who drafted it and which is written into the bill itself. Why so many people oppose the bill is really immaterial the fact they oppose it shows it isn’t achieving its declared aim of improving elector confidence.

crazyguy's avatar

@flutherother I think the opposition is coming primarily from people who are watching the loopholes disappear…

zenvelo's avatar

@crazyguy Please just admit that you think Georgia let too many people vote in November and again in January.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@zenvelo amend your previous comment -> too many non-white people…

Tropical_Willie's avatar

“I think the opposition is coming primarily from people who are watching the loopholes disappear…” What loopholes ? ?

Loopholes like having people of color, poor, elderly and Democrats in general vote, maybe 11,000 too many last November ?

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo @elbanditoroso I do not mind one bit if every eligible voter casts a vote. Indeed I wish they would. Then we would know the relative strengths of the parties. If that happened, the Democrats would keep winning…until people realized that all their giveaways do not change anything sustainably.

zenvelo's avatar

Here is a succinct list of what is wrong with the law.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo _That _ is Stacey Abrams’ view. What is yours?

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