Loading...

Georgia House Passes GOP Bill Rolling Back Voting Access

March 2, 2021by Ben Nadler and Amila Yoganathan, Associated Press
Georgia House Passes GOP Bill Rolling Back Voting Access
Demonstrators chained together protest HB 531 outside of the Georgia State Capitol Building on day 25 of the legislative session in Atlanta, Monday, March 1, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Georgia muscled legislation through the state House on Monday that would roll back voting access, over the objection of Democrats and civil rights groups gathered at the Capitol to protest. 

The bill comes after record turnout led to Democratic wins in Georgia’s presidential election and two U.S. Senate runoffs. 

House Bill 531 passed the lower legislative chamber by a vote of 97-72. It now goes to the state Senate for more debate. 

The far-reaching bill would require a photo ID for absentee voting, limit the amount of time voters have to request an absentee ballot, restrict where ballot drop boxes could be located and when they could be accessed, and limit early voting hours on weekends, among many other changes. 

It is one of a flood of election bills being pushed by GOP lawmakers across the country this year that would add new barriers to voting. 

Republicans say the measure is needed to restore the public’s confidence in elections, after former President Donald Trump and his allies relentlessly pushed false claims about fraud. 

“House Bill 531 is designed to begin to bring back the confidence of our voters back into our election system,” said Republican Rep. Barry Fleming, the measure’s chief sponsor. 

Democrats say the legislation furthers Trump’s lies and would disproportionately affect voters of color. 

“It’s pathetically obvious to anyone paying attention that when Trump lost the November election and Georgia flipped control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats shortly after, Republicans got the message that they were in a political death spiral,” Democratic Rep. Renitta Shannon said. “And now they are doing anything they can to silence the voices of Black and brown voters specifically, because they largely powered these wins.” 

Dozens of protesters gathered just outside the Capitol on Monday in opposition to the bill, chanting “say no to voter suppression” and “protect the vote.” 

“Today, before the eyes of this country, Georgia is poised to pass some of the most egregious, dangerous and most expensive voter suppression acts in this entire nation, rolling back years of hardball progress and renewing our own reputation for discrimination,” the Rev. James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, said at the rally. 

Alaina Reaves, the president of the Clayton County Young Democrats, was among the protesters.  

“We take one step forward and then you know these legislators are trying to bring us up to two steps back,” Reaves said.  

Later Monday, the state Senate Ethics Committee approved a Republican-backed bill that would limit who can vote absentee in Georgia to those 65 and older, people with a disability and people who will be away from their precinct on Election Day.  

That bill would do away with no-excuse absentee voting adopted by a Republican-controlled legislature in 2005. It could soon move to the full Senate for a vote. 

In The News

Health

Voting

In The States

Governors Turn to Budgets to Guard Against Climate Change

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Their state budgets flush with cash, Democratic and Republican governors alike want to spend some of... Read More

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Their state budgets flush with cash, Democratic and Republican governors alike want to spend some of the windfall on projects aimed at slowing climate change and guarding against its consequences, from floods and wildfires to dirty air.  Democratic governors such as California's... Read More

A Digital Divide Haunts Schools Adapting to Virus Hurdles

When April Schneider's children returned to in-person classrooms this year, she thought they were leaving behind the struggles from more... Read More

When April Schneider's children returned to in-person classrooms this year, she thought they were leaving behind the struggles from more than a year of remote learning. No more problems with borrowed tablets. No more days of missed lessons because her kids couldn't connect to their virtual... Read More

January 14, 2022
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court to Weigh In on Ted Cruz Campaign Loan

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider whether a Federal Election Commission limit on the amount campaigns can... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider whether a Federal Election Commission limit on the amount campaigns can use of post-election contributions to repay debts they owe to the candidates themselves violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment. The case stems from... Read More

January 14, 2022
by Dan McCue
Ohio Supreme Court Rejects New Congressional Maps

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a Republican-drawn congressional map on Friday, giving hope to national Democrats who... Read More

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a Republican-drawn congressional map on Friday, giving hope to national Democrats who had argued it unfairly delivered several potentially competitive seats in this year's critical midterm elections to Republicans. In the 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court returned... Read More

January 12, 2022
by Dan McCue
Court Panel Rules North Carolina Political Maps are Good to Go

RALEIGH, N.C. — A three-judge state superior court panel ruled Tuesday that new congressional and state legislative maps drawn by... Read More

RALEIGH, N.C. — A three-judge state superior court panel ruled Tuesday that new congressional and state legislative maps drawn by Republican lawmakers do not violate the state constitution and therefore can be used in upcoming elections. The panel, which included two Republicans, Wake County Judge Graham... Read More

January 12, 2022
by TWN Staff
Democrat Cherfilus-McCormick Wins Florida's 20th Congressional District Contest

FORT LAUDERDALE — Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick has won the election to represent Florida's 20th Congressional District, replacing the late long-time... Read More

FORT LAUDERDALE — Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick has won the election to represent Florida's 20th Congressional District, replacing the late long-time Rep. Alcee Hastings. As of 7:22 p.m. Tuesday night, Cherfilus-McCormick had garned 78% of the total 45,471 votes reported cast. Republican Jason Mariner received 20.2% of... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version