Georgia election bills seek to satisfy skeptical Republicans

Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Political News

Each year since the last presidential election, Republican legislators have passed laws aimed at appeasing their concerns, especially through Georgia’s 2021 voting law that tightened absentee voting rules by limiting drop boxes, requiring more ID and eliminating paperless online ballot requests.

Democrats and voting rights groups say lawmakers caved into conspiracy theories and election denial, resulting in needless security theater that will strain competent elections administration.

They’re especially alarmed by the bill that would set standards for activists to seek the removal of voter registrations of people who appear to have moved from Georgia. Since the 2020 election, conservative activists have challenged the eligibility of over 100,000 registrations, but county election boards have rejected most of their attempts.

“This legislation is the latest in a long line of Georgia election bills that does nothing to improve the voting process,” said Kristin Nabers, the Georgia director for the voting organization All Voting Is Local. “Instead, it will make it even easier for anyone to challenge the eligibility of a voter’s registration by allowing challengers to use unreliable websites that often have incorrect or outdated data.”

State Rep. Stacey Evans, a Democrat from Atlanta, said Republicans should end the ongoing quest to rectify baseless suspicions about the 2020 election.

The election has been repeatedly upheld by recounts, audits and investigations. Some problems were found in the 2020 election, but they didn’t change the outcome.


“Proponents of those pieces of legislation come to this well and say, ‘This is going to secure our elections,’ " Evans said during a debate in the state House. “Then the next year, we have to come back and open up the code again. So are you lying then or are you lying now? Is it now going to be the most secure?”

Just 42% of Republicans said they were confident that this year’s presidential election would be conducted fairly and accurately, according to a January poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Among all Georgia voters in the survey, 57% said they were confident.

House Governmental Affairs Chairman John LaHood said this year’s bills will make a difference to voters who want assurances that elections are accurate and secure.

“This is the most impactful election package to come out of this General Assembly since 2021,” said LaHood, a Republican from Valdosta. “Georgia will be in the spotlight in this national election, and it’s considered a swing state. We want to make sure we get it right.”


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