Georgia House Passes Sweeping Election Reform Bill

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The Georgia House of Representatives has passed HB 531, a sweeping election reform bill that allows election integrity in Georgia elections.

H.B. 531

Title: Elections; no election superintendents or boards of registrars shall accept private funding; provide

Summary

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections and primaries generally, so as to provide that no election superintendents or boards of registrars shall accept private funding; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

  1. Identification would be required for requesting an absentee ballot. (drivers license, state identification card, last four digits of their Social Security number.
  2. Absentee ballot request can be requested up to 78 days before the election, instead of the current 180 days.
  3. No unsolicited absentee ballots can be mailed by government or election officials.
  4. Georgia’s runoff period would be reduces to four weeks instead of nine weeks.
  5. Military and overseas voters would be offered ranked choice voting
  6. One drop box would be placed in each county per 100,000 active voters and would be located at the office of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk, or indoors at an early voting site and would be open when those offices are open.
  7. Bans Mobile Voting
  8. Bans any private funding from 3rd parties. Election superintendents and boards of registrars are not allowed to accept any “funding, grants, or gifts from any source other than from the governing authority of the county or municipality, the State of Georgia, or the federal government,”
  9. Bans counting of any provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct.
  10. Requires shorter timeline for voting. Georgia’s early voting period would be business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting about three weeks before election day. Registrars would have the option to extend voting hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend voting would be limited to the second Saturday before the election. Counties can also choose the third Saturday or third Sunday before election day as another weekend day.
  11. Requires ballots to be printed on “security paper that incorporates features which can be used to authenticate the ballot as an official ballot but which do not make the ballot identifiable to a particular elector.“
  12. Prohibits people to solicit votes, distribute or show any campaign material, or provide money or gifts—including food and drink—within 25 feet of voters standing in line at any polling place, and within 150 feet of any polling place.

Sponsors

Representatives Barry Fleming (R-121st), Jan Jones (R-47th), Alan Powell (R-32nd), Shaw Blackmon (R-146th), Lynn Smith (R-70th), Rick Williams (R-145th)

HB SB 531 PDF

georgia-house-bill-531-2021-2022-199228

SB 241

Senate Bill 241: Elections and Voting; revise comprehensively

Summary

A BILL to be entitled an Act to comprehensively revise elections and voting; to amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A., relating to elections and primaries generally, so as to provide for the establishment of a voter intimidation and illegal election activities hotline; to limit the ability of the State Election Board and the Secretary of State to enter into certain consent agreements; to amend Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 50 of the O.C.G.A., relating to general provisions regarding administrative procedure, so as to provide for the submission and suspension of emergency rules by the State Election Board; to provide for severability; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Sponsors

Senators Dugan (30th), Miller (49th), Gooch (51st), Kennedy (18th),  Cowsert (46th) and others  

SB 241 PDF

Senate-Bill-241-20212022-198450

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