A Georgia state senator this week responded to the newly-passed Senate Bill 202 voter reform measure with a bill of her own.
Georgia State Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta) this week filed a bill that she said would give county election supervisors and local elections boards the option to allow out-of-precinct voting on Election Day.
This, Harrell said in a press release, will “make voting easier and more accessible in those counties.”
“Every Election Day, thousands of voters go to the wrong precinct because of confusion with early voting sites, changes in polling locations, or poll books that have incorrect data,” Harrell said in the press release.
“We can eliminate this problem completely by making it as easy as possible to get to a voting location.”
According to the press release, Harrell’s bill, SB 314, would address a measure in SB 202 that prohibits voters from voting provisionally when they go to the wrong polling location on Election Day. SB 202 only allows out-of-precinct provisional voting after 5 p.m.
“Out-of-precinct provisional ballots only allow voters to vote in federal and statewide races and take longer for elections officials to process,” according to Harrell’s press release.
“Many Georgia counties allow out-of-precinct voting during early voting periods. By making out-of-precinct Election Day voting optional for counties, SB 314 recognizes that some counties may not yet have the broadband capabilities to make this option available to voters.”
As The Georgia Star News reported Tuesday, SB 202 has prompted talk that Major League Baseball and the Professional Golfers’ Association might cancel major events in the Peach State.
And at least one major Hollywood director said he now wants nothing to do with Georgia.
Specifically, activists reportedly want MLB to pull its scheduled All-Star Game out of Atlanta in July. They also reportedly want PGA officials to move its Masters Tournament out of Augusta next month, according to several reports, including one in The New York Post.
As The Star News reported Saturday, SB 202 also requires increased oversight of local election boards that fail to follow state election law. The law also mandates secured drop boxes around-the-clock and voter ID on absentee ballots.
As reported Monday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel defended Georgia SB 202, which Democrats nationwide have described as a form of voter suppression. She said “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.”
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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