Georgia Gov. Kemp signs election bill; Augusta mayor disapproves

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:06 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed into law a sweeping Republican-sponsored overhaul of state elections.

It places new restrictions on voting by mail and gives the legislature greater control over how elections are run.

Democrats and voting rights groups say the law will disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color.

It is part of a wave of GOP-backed election bills introduced in states around the nation after former President Donald Trump stoked false claims that fraud led to his 2020 election defeat.

Republican changes to voting laws in Georgia follow record-breaking turnout that led to Democratic victories in the presidential contest and two U.S. Senate runoffs in the once reliably red state.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis released a statement on the signing of the election bill saying, “And with the stroke of the Governor’s pen, the State of Georgia has effectively turned back the hands of time with today’s passage of SB 202. Because they are unable to win on their own merit, republicans have moved the goal posts hurting millions of Georgia voters for their own benefit. Simply put, this is a participation trophy for Republicans.

I am truly disappointed in the actions of the General Assembly and the Governor. Instead of giving boards of elections more funding to improve their operations and increase their workforce in order to speed up the time it takes to vote and count votes, they have criminalized non-partisan volunteers for providing water to people waiting for hours on end to cast their ballot.

Instead of looking for ways to allow our older adults, shut-ins, and those in rural communities to cast their ballots with ease, they have added a poll tax by requiring people to buy a photo copier just to vote absentee. Investigations by the Republican Secretary of State and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, into the 2020 elections, found no fraudulently cast ballots.

Furthermore, the clearly morally bankrupt GOP controlled legislature has now given themselves the power to control local elections.

We teach our children to stand up to bullies and tell the truth, unfortunately our state leaders lack the moral conscious or compass that would compel them to support free and fair elections. Instead, they have bowed to lies, and the party of Honest Abe is effectively no more.

This is a day that will go down in infamy in the state of Georgia.”

Click here to read more about the bill.

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