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Thu Feb 25, 2021, 04:31 PM

538: All The Ways Georgia Could Make It Harder To Vote

We spent the summer and fall of 2020 tracking changes to state voting regulations due to the pandemic, when almost every state relaxed its laws to make it easier to vote. That’s not the case here in 2021, though, as many Republican state legislators spend the early days of this year’s legislative session proposing laws that would make it harder to vote — especially in ways disproportionately used by Democrats and voters of color — under the pretense of preventing large-scale voter fraud (which doesn’t exist).

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a pro-voting-rights advocacy group, more than 165 bills restricting voting access have been proposed in 33 state legislatures — more than four times as many as had been proposed in February 2020. The ones that have received the most attention are probably those in Georgia, both because that state has emerged as one of the closest swing states in the country and because of how draconian the restrictions are. And because Republicans control all levers of state government in Georgia, these bills have a higher chance than most of actually becoming law.

There are currently two big bills under consideration in the Peach State. The first, House Bill 531, introduced in the Georgia state House last Thursday — just an hour before its hearing was scheduled — has received a lot of attention for the sheer breadth of what it is proposing. It would:

Require absentee voters to submit their driver’s license number, state ID number or a copy of their photo ID with their ballot.



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