September 16, 2023
June 8, 2021
The Truth About Georgia’s Election Law
Democrats, like President Biden and Stacy Abrams, claim the new Georgia Election Integrity Act is nothing more than a repackaged Jim Crow law designed to suppress turnout of minority voters.
As part of their assault on America’s election systems, Democrats and the corporate media have spread misinformation about Georgia’s Election Integrity Act (SB 202), which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.
Instead of addressing specific provisions in the law, the Left resorted to demagoguery, demonizing Georgians—and all Americans—who support common-sense election reform measures.
The Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, David Ralston, called the rhetoric surrounding SB 202 “extremely unfortunate” and “deceptions from those interested in gaining power. Legislative sessions are about doing the work of the people,” he said, “not perpetuating or trying to gain power by another party.”
Partisans from across the country, including the President himself, falsely labeled Georgia’s new voting law as “Jim Crow 2.0.” This smear has been harmful to all of the people of Georgia, but most of all to the African American community—partly by instigating boycotts that will deprive their businesses of much needed revenue and do them real harm.
Some African Americans are fighting back. Conservative Clergy of Color (see page 9) took out a full page ad challenging the Left’s narrative and supporting the bill on the principle that: “Voting Should Be Easy, and Cheating Should Be Hard.”
Rep. Burgess Owens, an African American Congressman from Utah, has said: “To call this Jim Crow 2021 is an insult. What I find extremely offensive is the narrative from the Left that Black people are not smart enough, not educated enough, and not desirous enough of education to do what every other culture and race does in this country: get an ID.”
Here is what SB 202 actually does:
- Verifies the accuracy of voter registration lists.
- Prohibits private funding of election officials and government agencies which can lead to partisan election offices and corruption.
- Expands access to early voting statewide by requiring two mandatory Saturdays, and allowing local election officials the option of up to two Sundays during early voting. This change applies to all 159 counties in Georgia for the first time, resulting in hundreds of hours of increased early voting opportunities for Georgians.
- Requires all voters to provide a driver’s license or a free state ID card number to request and submit an absentee ballot. This replaces the cumbersome and subjective signature match process, thereby significantly streamlining—and securing—absentee ballot verification and tabulation. Every Georgia voter must already present some form of photo ID to vote in-person.
- Requires ballot drop boxes—which were not available to Georgia voters prior to the COVID-19 pandemic—to be pres- ent in every county, while also ensuring all drop boxes be located in government buildings and protected around the clock against tampering.
- Protects polling locations from electioneering by private individuals. Within 150 feet of the precinct, election officials may provide water at stations. Beyond 150 feet, as previous Georgia law allowed, private individuals may campaign and provide food and water for voters.
- Requires local election officials to continue tabulating votes, without pause, until counting is complete and mandates the use of security paper to ensure complete authentication of ballots.
- Provides the state legislature with oversight of any consent agreements, settlements, and consent orders proposed by the State Election Board or Secretary of State.
As you can see, these reforms have nothing to do with “voter suppression” or “Jim Crow.” Georgia’s Election Integrity Act makes it easy to vote by expanding access to the polls and harder to cheat by ensuring the security of the ballot box.
Georgia State Senator Max Burns, who chairs the Ethics Committee and who sponsored SB 202 in the Georgia Senate, puts it clearly: “The challenge is not in the fact that the votes were counted incorrectly; they were counted correctly. The challenge is whether the votes themselves were legitimate. That’s why you see in this bill, the absentee ballot process ensuring that the same identification requirements for an absentee ballot that you would have if you were to go to the polls to vote early or to vote on Election Day.”
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