To restore Americans’ confidence in free and fair presidential elections, it is vital that elected officials begin passing laws that safeguard our votes.
What began with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announcing sweeping legislation to curb election fraud in the swing state has now spilled over to lawmakers in neighboring Georgia.
Unlike Florida, Georgia was strongly contested in the 2020 presidential election with vast evidence of fraud sweeping the ballots, ultimately resulting in Biden winning the state. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp seemed unconcerned with investigating any of this fraud despite the fact that the republic was hanging in the balance.
Following former President Trump’s CPAC 2021 remarks where he called on Republicans to defend election integrity, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 97-72 in favor of passing a GOP-backed bill promoting voting reform on Monday.
If passed by the state Senate and signed into law, House Bill 531 would place restrictions on absentee and early voting, add new voter identification requirements, and eliminate drop boxes.
The secretary of state would be removed from his role as chair of the State Election Board in order to make the elections independent of external influences.
Under the bill, county election offices would no longer receive grant funding, the runoff election period would be shortened, and counties would be required to improve operations in busy precincts, according to North Country Public Radio.
The outlet also reported the bill mandates all counties to have the same early voting dates and times to streamline vote-counting throughout the state.
Fair Fight Action, a “voting rights” organization founded by Stacey Abrams, slammed the bill in a statement as “a dangerous attempt to roll back voting rights” that would “add extra hurdles for voters of color and marginalized communities – along with Republican voters who have relied on voting by mail to win states like Florida and Ohio,” The Hill reported.
However, the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Barry Fleming said HB 531 “is designed to bring back the confidence of our voters back into our election system” following the nightmarish Georgia elections.
Remember, it was in Fulton County, Georgia where election officials pulled out the infamous hidden box of ballots from under a table to continue counting after poll watchers had already left for the night.
This bill would combat situations like that from arising again in other presidential elections through sweeping election reform measures that would limit potential fraud from happening again.
We cannot have our elections undermined by those who are willing to subvert the will of the people to oust a presidential candidate.
Georgia’s action goes a long way to making sure that what played out in 2020 never happens again.