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Poll shows deep divisions over Georgia voting law

Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA — Georgia voters are split along party lines over the state’s new election law, with a divided majority supporting drop box limits, absentee ballot ID requirements and shorter deadlines to request absentee ballots, according to a University of Georgia poll released Wednesday.

But some parts of the law earned bipartisan support or condemnation.

Voters overwhelmingly back weekend early voting options, and both conservatives and liberals say the law — pushed through the General Assembly by the GOP majority — was motivated by Republican Donald Trump’s loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Georgians oppose a ban on giving food and drinks to voters waiting in line, and they object to allowing the state to take over underperforming county election offices.

The survey showed voters’ initial reactions to the law that has drawn national attention to voting rights since Gov. Brian Kemp signed it last month. The poll of 887 voters was conducted by UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs from March 31 to April 19. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

The school conducts polls for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, although the AJC did not commission this survey.

 

Voters’ responses to the law depended in large part on their political beliefs.

While 65% of those surveyed backed requiring a driver’s license number to verify absentee ballots, just 35% of Democrats supported the ID mandate. Meanwhile, 93% of Republicans endorsed the new ID provision, which replaces the previous method of checking voters by matching their signatures. Besides driver’s license numbers, the law also allows voters to provide a state ID number or other documentation.

A previous poll commissioned by the AJC in January found 74% support for additional absentee ID requirements.

Voters showed similar rifts over a requirement that drop boxes only be allowed inside early voting sites, a restriction favored by 55% of those taking the poll. About 35% of those who identified themselves as Democrats and 47% of independents supported the drop box rule, compared with 74% of Republicans.

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