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How voting laws have changed in Georgia since 2020

In May, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a measure creating new rules for challenging a voter’s eligibility.
A mail-in election ballot is positioned in the mailbox
Posted at 3:50 PM, Jul 02, 2024

Following the 2020 election, there were rampant but unfounded claims of voter fraud. Since then, many states enacted hundreds of changes to voting laws, including Georgia, which was a focal point for fraud claims.

Republican lawmakers in the state have pushed through sweeping changes to voting laws over the past four years.

“In 2020, however, Biden won. And I think in part that's because of the Republicans thinking that they've got the state locked up and now they don't think so anymore,” said retired Georgia State University political science professor Daniel Franklin.

In May, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a measure creating new rules for challenging a voter’s eligibility. The new state law says a voter can be pulled from the rolls for reasons such as evidence they have voted in another jurisdiction, or listing a P.O. box as a home address.

Supporters say the bill helps prevent fraud, but opponents say it could enable baseless attacks against legal voters. The ACLU has threatened to challenge the law in court.

“There's a serious legal question about the law, which allows voters to be challenged up to 45 days before the election. But federal law says you can't change the rules of an election, or you can't alter an election less than 90 days before the election,” said Franklin.

Voters will also not see QR codes on their ballots. Republicans say removing them ensures voters know their vote was recorded correctly.

Voters cast their ballots in the Nevada primary election
Voters cast their ballots in the Nevada primary election in Reno.

"There was a real lack of transparency, and you couldn't see who you would actually voted for before you cast your vote,” said Franklin.

Republicans also claim removing the QR codes removes vulnerabilities within the Dominion voting systems. There has not been any evidence of problems with the machines.

In another change, the window to request an absentee ballot is now half what it was in 2020. The final deadline is now 11 days before the election. Previously it was the Friday before Election Day.

Voters also must provide a driver’s license or other state ID number.

A 2021 law also cuts down the number of drop boxes per county available for absentee ballots.

One of the more notable changes to voting laws in Georgia is that food and water can no longer be handed out to voters waiting in line.

“It's not all of the Georgia laws are making it more difficult to vote — Georgia has generous rules in regard to early voting, and early voting is a real luxury that may not be available to the same extent in other states,” Franklin says.

Georgia voters can cast ballots three weeks before election days. Communities can offer voting on Sundays as well.

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