Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel this week defended Georgia Senate Bill 202, which Democrats nationwide have described as a form of voter suppression.
As The Georgia Star News reported Saturday, this new voter reform 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.
McDaniel, in an emailed press release, said she and others “look forward to defending this law in court.”
“Democrats are peddling a false narrative in order to dismantle our elections processes, and the Georgia election reforms expose that lie because the bill actually EXPANDS voting opportunities,” McDaniel said.
“This bill increases the number of early voting days and hours overall, and in addition to making it easier to vote, the legislation includes a number of reforms that increase transparency and will improve the voting experience for all Georgia voters. Democrats can lie and spin about the bill all they want, but the real question should be: why are Democrats so terrified of a transparent and secure election process?”
McDaniel, in a press release, said the following:
• Georgia Senate Bill 202 is a comprehensive election reform bill that creates a more transparent, efficient, and effective election process by expanding the number of early voting days, including mandating an Early Voting Saturday, allowing observation of the tabulation, scanning, and duplication of ballots, and allowing the preprocessing of ballots prior to election day.
• The Election Night reporting requirements ensure that all ballots must be counted by the end of election night, ensuring voters have results without having to wait days or even weeks.
• Additionally, the bill provides for reasonable voter ID requirements when applying for and returning absentee ballots. Voters can provide their driver’s license number, last four digits of their Social Security number, or a copy of another acceptable form of identification. This requirement will be easy for voters to comply with since they merely need to list the number but will ensure officials can easily confirm the identity of each absentee voter. These requirements are similar to those already enshrined in federal law.
• 75 percent of voters support voter ID laws, including 60 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of black voters.
• The bill prohibits ballot harvesting and protects the security of the ballot by prohibiting anyone other than an immediate family member from being in possession of an electors’ ballot.
• The bill ensures absentee ballot drop boxes are designated prior to advance voting, surveilled by county officials, and locked and opened every day of advance voting for added safety and security.
• The bill creates transparency by requiring each county to report the number of: absentee ballots issued; the number of absentees returned; the number of absentee rejected; the number of ballots cast during advance voting; number of provisional ballots, number of provisional ballots that have verified or cured and accepted for counting, and the number of provisional ballots that have been rejected.
• The bill prohibits collusive settlements between state officials and Democratic attorneys.
• The bill increases oversight and ensures competent local election administration. These are similar reforms to those found in Florida law which allowed for the removal of incompetent local election officials.
• Despite Democrats’ false outrage, the solicitation zone includes the giving of food or water by the proper personnel, not political activists. Election workers are still allowed to provide water and it allows for self-service water stations.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp addressed the matter last week.
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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