“Congratulations to Georgia and the Georgia State Legislature on changing their voter Rules and Regulations. They learned from the travesty of the 2020 Presidential Election, which can never be allowed to happen again. Too bad these changes could not have been done sooner!” Trump said in a statement released via his Save America political action committee.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25 signed a package of election reform bills into law. The newly-enacted measure will require absentee voters to provide a copy of their photo ID and enhance security measures for ballot drop boxes, among other changes.
Kemp wrote on Twitter that the omnibus bill will ensure that Georgia’s elections are “secure, fair, and accessible.” The 95-page bill passed the state House by a 100-75 vote and the state Senate by a 34-20 vote, with none of the Democrats voting in favor of the bill.
Georgia’s contested presidential election results were certified in favor of now-President Joe Biden. The once-reliable red state later saw Democratic victories for two remaining U.S. Senate runoffs in early January which secured a 50-50 Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris tipping the house to a Democrat-majority.
Democrats and establishment media outlets largely panned the set of reforms as voter suppression, the most common label used by the left to attack Republican efforts to secure the integrity of the ballot. Some Republicans, including Kemp, argue that restoring confidence in the election process will drive more voters to turn out.
“After November, I knew like so many of you that significant reforms to our state elections were needed,” Kemp said. “There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled and those problems understandably led to the crisis of confidence at the ballot box here in Georgia.”
The Election Integrity Act of 2021 requires a Georgia driver’s license or a state-approved ID in order to vote by mail. This replaces the current signature match process that was in place, which Kemp called “time-consuming, labor-intensive, and at times arbitrary.” The new law also mandates new security measures for ballot drop boxes, including constant surveillance by designated parties.
More than 1.3 million Georgian voters had opted to vote absentee by mail in the 2020 presidential election and the state underwent multiple manual and machine recounts, and an absentee ballot signature match audit, but only in one county.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.