Republican state senators are looking to change the way that the voting process is handled in Georgia. The senators are looking to ban automatic voter registration, ballot boxes, and no-excuse voting.
“We’ve got to restore confidence in the ballot box. When people lose confidence in the ballot box, they ultimately lose confidence in their government,” Butch Miller, a Republican senator from Gainesville and co-sponsor of the bills. “Our goal is to be sure every vote is accounted for, accurate and legal.”
Democrats believe the bills introduced by the Republicans will reduce voting access. The bills come after Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won seats in the Senate last month, securing Democrat’s power in the chamber.
“It’s voter suppression. If you restrict access, then people get discouraged, and they don’t vote. They don’t come back,” Gloria Butler, a Senator from Georgia, said. “We have to make the argument that it’s a good process. People were able to vote, and they voted in record numbers.”
One of the bills will prevent people from being automatically registered to vote when they get their driver’s license. Another would require all absentee ballots to be returned through the mail or at election offices. Republicans are also looking to mandate monthly updates to election officials of voters who have died, ban nonprofit organizations from mailing absentee ballot applications, expand poll watcher access, and prohibit new Georgia residents from voting in runoff elections.