March 30, 2021
The Left and their media allies have used the new Georgia election law (SB 202) signed into law last week as a pretext for their election takeover with HR. 1, leaning heavily on misconceptions, half-truths, and flat-out lies about the bill to make their case for a massive federal takeover of state election systems. Here are the facts:
FACT: The bill actually preserves or expands ballot access in several important ways: It requires that large precincts with lines more than an hour long take steps like adding voting machines and election personnel for the next election to reduce wait times. It does not change the number of total early voting days, and actually increases the mandatory days of early weekend voting. Compared to 2020, 134 of 159 counties will offer more early voting hours in future elections under the new law. It codifies election drop boxes, which did not exist prior to 2020. Voters can continue to vote absentee with no excuse (unlike states like Delaware, New York, and Connecticut, which require an excuse to vote absentee).
FACT: Georgia law was silent on Sunday early voting days prior to SB 202, and in 2020 only 16 of 159 counties offered early voting on Sundays. The new law explicitly provides the option of holding early voting on two Sundays for all localities. It actually increases the mandatory days of early weekend voting across the state.
FACT: The law requires a driver’s license or free state ID number, which 97% of registered voters already have. Anyone without a valid ID can easily obtain one for free. The voter ID requirement replaces the state’s controversial signature match program that led to the disqualification of thousands of votes in 2020.
The law’s voter ID requirement for absentee ballots is overwhelmingly popular in Georgia across the board. According to an AJC poll in January, 74% of Georgia voters support it, including 63% of black voters, and 89% of those making under $25K/year.
FACT: The drop boxes used in the last election did not exist a year ago. They were first utilized in 2020 as a pandemic precaution. This bill makes them an official part of Georgia elections, and they will be available in all 159 counties in Georgia and under supervision to protect against tampering.
FACT: The bipartisan State Election Board can do performance reviews of local election supervisors who fail their area’s voters with things like long lines and unfulfilled absentee ballot requests. The board will not overturn election results; the law simply provides a process to review and ensure officials are technically competent and complying with state laws and regulations . This process requires a high burden of proof over multiple elections, and the State Elections Board may only suspend up to four election supervisors at any given time, which guards against using this process to try to influence election outcomes.
FACT: Like the countless other states that have very specific laws against electioneering near polling places, Georgia has codified rules preventing political groups from handing out food or water to voters in line as an incentive to vote, but specifically allows poll workers to make water available to anyone who wants it. The law will also directly cut down wait times, meaning refreshment for people waiting in line will be less necessary.