November’s election has left many Americans worried about the potential of voter fraud — particularly related to mail-in ballots — in future races.
“Not about disenfranchising voters”
As recent reports explain, the legislation mandates that voters provide either a photocopy of a state-issued identification or its associated number when casting a vote by mail.
The bill passed primarily along party lines by a 35–18 margin, and Georgia Republicans are touting it as a step toward safeguarding the integrity of future elections. Democrats, on the other hand, largely contend that it represents an effort to discourage minorities from voting.
State Sen. Larry Walker, the Republican who sponsored the bill, defended it in a statement declaring that it is “not about disenfranchising voters” or “overly burdening the electorate.”
Instead, he argued that the bill was aimed at “efficiency, integrity, allowing the Georgia public to have confidence in the vote.”
For his part, Democratic state Sen. David Lucas issued his party’s prevailing view that this and other election-reform bills are actually about turning people away from the polls.
“No question about what’s going to happen”
“The election didn’t turn out the way you want and you want to perpetuate the lie that Trump told,” Lucas said, adding that Democrats are “going to fight” against the new legislation.
He went on to tell GOP lawmakers that “there’s no question about it what’s going to happen, and you’re going to spend taxpayer money trying to defend it.”
State senators also passed a Republican-friendly bill requiring polling officials to count the total number of votes that had been cast, breaking the results down by method before any tallies could be publicly released. That legislation’s sponsor, GOP state Sen. Bill Cowsert, declared: “Give people the totals. Let people have the piece [sic] of mind that nothing’s been done in the dark of night.”
Democrats denounced the effort over concerns that delays would undermine public confidence, including Sen. Elena Parent, who predicted that the measure “would just cause more angst.”
Another bill passed along more bipartisan lines that would allow the state’s counties to start processing mail-in vote totals more than a week before Election Day.