Bill Aims to Strengthen Voter Absentee Laws

News, Politics, State & National

ATLANTA, Ga. – State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) introduced this session’s first bill to strengthen voter absentee law in Georgia.

If passed, Senate Bill 29 would require voters to show proof of ID when requesting an absentee ballot and returning them. The bill should be the first of several proposed legislation that lawmakers will consider in this session.

It would be a change from current state law that requires an ID for voting in person, but not for an absentee ballot.

Rep. Jason Anavitarte

After the Republican Donald Trump’s failed election, many voters in the Republican Party have cried foul and continue to pressure lawmakers to do something. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-GA) was no stranger to the animosity. His office reported receiving death threats in late November of last year. Others were upset when Governor Brian Kemp opposed calling for a special session. Despite the early and contentious fingerpointing, Republican leadership seems to be singing to the same song. Kemp has told multiple sources that he supports the idea of requiring a photo ID for absentee ballots. Earlier this month, Speaker David Ralston echoed a similar statement about new voter legislation during a press conference when he said, “I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t pass significant measures this session.”

Senate Bill 29 has already gained national attention. While not calling out a specific piece of legislation, newly-elected Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) voiced his opposition on Twitter. “Disenfranchisement will not be tolerated,” Ossoff tweeted. Fair Fight, the brainchild of Stacey Abrams (D-GA), posted, “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.”

The bill’s current language gives significant leeway to those assisting voters who somehow are unable to vote in person.

Georgia law allows anyone to cast a provisional ballot even if you fail to have one of the seven accepted forms of identification.

Senate Bill 29 is the first piece of legislation introduced by the first-year lawmaker from Dallas. Anavitarte did not respond in time to this report.

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