State Sen. Jason Anavitarte introduced the bill as the first major proposal to limit absentee voting in the southern state.
Politicians have proposed adding measures to submitting an absentee ballot in Georgia following two major elections won by Democratic candidates.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, State Sen. Jason Anavitarte introduced Senate Bill 29 which would require residents to provide two separate photo identifications, both when applying for absentee ballots, and when returning them.
The move is being critiqued by Fair Fight, a voting rights group, who claimed Republican politicians are only attempting to sway elections in their favor after losing the 2020 presidential election in the Peach State, and the subsequent runoff elections in January.
“By requiring access to a printer, which many Georgians obviously do not have, Republicans are attempting to purposely take away the ability of many Georgians to vote by mail simply because they believe too many Democrats and too many people of color voted by mail,” Fair Fight spokesman Seth Bringman said, according to AJC.
The outlet reported historically more Republicans voted by absentee ballot than Democrats in the state, however, in 2020, almost twice as many Democrats returned absentee ballots in November.
Former president Donald Trump made baseless claims of voter fraud after his loss. In total, over 1.3M people returned absentee ballots in Georgia’s presidential election. The secretary of state found zero incidents of voter fraud in the 15,000 ballots called for a review.
As theGrio reported, other GOP legislators have proposed a series of rules to limit access to absentee ballots. Suggested practices included requiring an explanation to cast an absentee ballot, banning absentee ballot drop boxes, requiring a photo ID to be included when returning an absentee ballot, eliminating mobile voting buses during early voting, and banning governments and organizations from mailing absentee ballot applications.
“When you don’t have a secure chain of custody, particularly with drop boxes, there’s no reason for that to be in the process,” said State Sen. Burt Jones, according to the report. “You’ve got three weeks of early voting and Saturday voting. You’ve given ample time and opportunities for people to get the effort to go in to vote.”
Under Anavitarte’s proposed legislation, potential voters would be required to submit a photocopy of their driver’s license, voter ID card, U.S. passport, government employee ID, military ID card or tribal identification card.
According to the Georgia state website, current procedures to obtain an absentee ballot include verifying a person is registered to vote, filling out, signing, and submitting an absentee application, and after the county elections office reviews the information provided, the ballot will be mailed out. Ballots may be returned by mail or dropped off at an available location.
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