Naples, FL–On March 25, 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an election bill that aims to restore trust and integrity in the state’s election process. The Foundation for Government Accountability supports the reforms implemented in this bill and highlights the need for such reforms to close loopholes that threaten the democratic process.
Georgia voters want to ensure that only eligible residents participate in Georgia elections using absentee ballots, but it’s been challenging to find a voter verification solution due to several barriers for low-income voters. Senate Bill 202 requires a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID to be included on absentee ballots. Individuals who do not have a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID will be provided one at no cost. Georgia voters can now confidently cast their absentee ballots, assured that it is counted.
The Secretary of State will further protect the rights of eligible voters through regular cross-checks with entities across that state to ensure only eligible voters are permitted to participate in elections. Other measures further protect the integrity of absentee ballots by providing Georgians with secure online absentee ballot submissions which eliminates delivery needs and provides greater accessibility to the polls. The bill also sets regulations that will limit third parties from tampering with absentee ballots.
Senate Bill 202 also expands weekend voting not offered in previous elections to improve access to the polls for those who have conflicts during the workweek. This, in addition to increasing the number of voting precincts and voting machines in counties suffering from long lines, will decrease the time needed for early voting and improve voters’ access to the polls.
The bill prohibits local officials from accepting non-government funds, grants, or gifts and requires the State Election Board to propose a process that distributes private donations for election administration equally throughout the state. Targeted funding leads to disparities between Georgia’s counties, and through the distribution of funds citizens across the state of Georgia are encouraged to cast their ballot.
“More Georgians are looking for state legislators to hold election officials accountable and ensure they carry out all of their jobs’ legally required duties, and Senate Bill 202 will do just that,” said Katie Rodgers, Vice President of Outreach and Government Affairs and proud Marietta voter. “Now more than ever, Georgians need assurance that if they participate in elections that their votes are secure and weighted equally to those of all other voters.”
The Foundation for Government Accountability supports the work legislators are putting in to encourage more voters to participate in the Georgia election process. With more voters participating than ever before, their laws are ensuring that all voices are heard and represented.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non–profit, multi–state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit https://TheFGA.org.