Georgia's New Voting Law: Explained
You may be hearing a lot about Georgia's controversial new voting law in the news recently. So what exactly does this new piece of legislation entail?
This past week, Georgia lawmakers passed a sweeping overhaul of the state's election process that has become controversial. "Republican supporters say the law is needed to restore confidence in Georgia's elections. Democrats say it will restrict voting access, especially for voters of color." - ABC News.
First, the new law gives Georgia's state government more powers over the 159 counties in Georgia's election processes. The Republican Party controls Georgia's state government, and many Democrats stated that they believe that giving the Republican Party direct control over the election process would be catastrophic. Republicans have stated that this action would streamline the election process after difficulties in vote counting in the 2020 elections.
Another controversial clause of the bill would ban providing any "gifts" to voters waiting in line at the polling place, including food and water. Many have described this as "cruel" and "apathetic," though proponents of the bill believe it would prevent political agents from swaying voters at the polling place.
Another controversial aspect of the law is a clause that shortens the time period of a runoff election from nine weeks to four weeks. If you're unfamiliar with what a runoff is, here's a simple definition. In Georgia, there is a law in place that states that if no candidates reach 50% of the vote, the top two candidates compete in a "runoff" election nine weeks later. Under this law, this nine-week period would be shortened to four weeks. This would drastically reduce the amount of mail-in ballots recorded, a demographic that Democrats perform well in. Additionally, no new voters would be able to be registered during that four-week period.
Three lawsuits have already been filed against this law, and many high-level members of the Democratic Party have condemned the law. If any major events come about regarding this bill, GOVLEARN will let you know. If you have any questions about this, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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