Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday published a lengthy defense of the state’s new Republican-sponsored election reform bill, which legislators passed Thursday.
According to Kemp’s Facebook page, the new law requires the following:
• Voter ID on all absentee ballots
• Increased oversight of local election boards that fail to follow state election law
• Secured drop boxes around the clock.
“What this bill actually does is fight the rhetoric from those that are fund-raising off of this issue and polarizing it, to take away from the unconstitutional power grab of H.R. 1 that’s going on in Washington D.C. right now. It further secures our absentee ballots by mail by requiring a photo I.D., which the vast majority of Georgians support. It is also adding days of early voting on the weekends. We’re expanding the right to vote in Georgia. You’re not hearing that from the other side. That’s what the truth is, as well as further securing absentee ballot boxes, which didn’t exist before,” Kemp said in an emailed press release.
“It’s completely contrary to what they’re trying to do in D.C. by doing away with the state’s photo I.D. requirement, by doing away with it being illegal to harvest ballots in Georgia[and] making that mandatory at the federal level. I fought very hard for over a decade to keep our voter rolls secure. You wouldn’t be able to do that with H.R. 1. So I think the people really need to look at who is trying to restrict things. It’s the Democrats in Washington, not Republicans that continue to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
The November 2020 election, according to Kemp, saw a 350 percent increase in the use of absentee balloting, more than 1.3 million absentee ballots total compared to election day in 2018.
“This obviously led to local election workers having to process far more ballots using a time-consuming, labor-intensive and at times arbitrary process,” Kemp said.
“By moving to a state-issued ID requirement instead of a signature match, Georgia will dramatically streamline the verification process on the absentee ballot.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Brian Kemp” by Brian Kemp. Background Photo “Georgia Capitol” by DXR. CC BY-SA 4.0.