On Tuesday, Georgia Republicans announced a plan to limit mail-in voting and peel back election laws that helped drive record-high turnout in the November election, including measures the party put in place itself.
NBC News reports:
The framework for legislation — which would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, add a voter ID requirement to mail ballots for voters with an eligible excuse and eliminate drop boxes — appears designed to respond to President Donald Trump’s repeated and false claims that mail voting is rife with fraud.
“As soon as we may constitutionally convene, we will reform our election laws to secure our electoral process by eliminating at-will absentee voting. We will require photo identification for absentee voting for cause, and we will crack down on ballot harvesting by outlawing drop boxes,” the Republican Senate majority caucus said in a press release issued Tuesday.
The news outlet noted that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in American elections, as “affirmed by numerous academic studies and even Trump’s own voter fraud commission.”
In the weeks since the November election, Attorney General William Barr and numerous state officials on both sides of the aisle have stated that they found no evidence to support Trump’s claims.
NBC News reported that there is “also no evidence that drop boxes, mailbox-like receptacles that allow voters to return their ballots directly to election officials, are more vulnerable to fraud than other methods.”
Still, Georgia Republicans are bent on making it harder to vote in their state.
The no-excuse absentee voting they seek to undo has been in place since 2005, according to the report. It went into effect “under Gov. Sonny Perdue, who now serves at Trump’s secretary of agriculture.”
Early voting was hugely popular in Georgia’s November election, in which the vast majority of voters cast a ballot by mail or in-person early. The huge shift in early and mail voting meant that Election Day wait times were short, averaging 3 minutes across the state, according to state officials.
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