A legislative attempt by Republican lawmakers in Georgia to put a ban on automatic voter registration, ballot drop boxes and no-excuse absentee voting was introduced in the state senate on Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The measures intend to change voting laws in the traditionally Republican led state which flipped first when President Joe Biden won last November and again with the U.S. Senate wins for Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The political shift resulted in a voter surge that significantly changed how the recent elections turned out.
One proposal would stop Georgians from receiving automatic registration to vote once a person receives a driver’s license. Also, instead of utilizing drop boxes, absentee ballots would only be valid if returned by mail or taken to county election offices, the AJC said.
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The proposal also includes changing a state law that allows people to cast absentee ballots for any reason and limit use of the ballots to people older than 75, people with disabilities or anyone who could not be present in their voting precincts.
“It’s voter suppression. If you restrict access, then people get discouraged and they don’t vote. They don’t come back,” said Gloria Butler, a Democrat and Georgia Senate Minority Leader. “We have to make the argument that it’s a good process. People were able to vote, and they voted in record numbers.”
Georgia Republicans, who until now could typically rely on state voters to deliver elections for them, say that the integrity of the election has been compromised. “We’ve got to restore confidence in the ballot box. When people lose confidence in the ballot box they ultimately lose confidence in their government,” said GOP Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller. “Our goal is to be sure every vote is accounted for, accurate and legal.”
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Some Georgia Republicans still hold on to the belief that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election, which has gone as far as fueling the Jan. 6 violence in the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, is one example of someone who has been consistently linked to QAnon conspiracy theories and has denied Trump’s loss and other outrageous notions.
Other Democrats balked at the proposed legislation saying that the Republicans are trying to change the rules since they lost.