New Georgia Voting Rules

New+Georgia+Voting+Rules

Mason Collins, Sports Editor

When it comes to voting, Georgia has always been an important state for each party to try and secure, but this year was probably the most important election in both the presidential and senate election for Georgia.  Late in the presidential election, Georgia was won by current 46th president Joe Biden, who from winning Georgia, received 16 crucial electoral votes that separated his lead in the race. 

 

Georgia also sparked plenty of headlines in the senate, when senators David Perdue (R), Jon Ossoff (D), Raphael Warnock (D), and Kelly Loeffler (R) were too close to decide in the original election, forcing the candidates to compete in a senate runoff. The senate seating stood at 50 seats for the Republican party and 48 for the Democratic party. After the senate runoff results, it was determined that democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won the last two seats in the senate, making a 50-50 split.

 

Towards the end of March, Georgia passed a new election law signed by Governor Brain Kemp that has stirred a nationwide debate over voting rights. Kemp signed the bill on March 31, and will be put into effect on July 1. 

 

  • Special ballots will be created for nonpartisan elections
  • Ballots must be printed in black and white ink on security paper 
  • A cutoff date of 11 days before a primary, general election or runoff election for mail-in ballot applications 
  • A deadline for the issuance of absentee ballots at least 25 days before a federal primary, general election or special election or 22 days before a municipal general election or primary
  • A Georgia state driver’s license number, ID card number, date of birth and the last four digits of a social security number or another approved form of identification must be printed on the outside of an absentee ballot
  • Conditions for rejecting absentee ballots if certain requirements are not met

 

After the new voting laws reached the news, the Democratic party was outraged by the changes, especially the new voter ID provisions and changes to mail in voting that they believe will make it more difficult for minorities to cast their vote. Within a few days, big named corporations such as Coca Cola, Delta and CBS News parent company Viacom CBS, spoke out against the bill. The biggest news headline after the voting rights were signed was Major League Baseball (MLB).

 

MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the game would no longer take place in Atlanta with the Atlanta Braves hosting due to new voting laws passed and put into place by the state government. Rob Manfred went on to say quote “ MLB fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-star festivities.”

 

Kemp has defended the law, saying it “expands access to voting, secures ballot drop boxes around the clock in every county, expands weekend voting, protects no-excuse absentee voting. It levels the playing field on voter I.D. requirements as well as streamlining election procedures.”

 

In response to the MLB move, the Braves said, “This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city.” The team said it values equal voting opportunities. “Our city has always been known as a uniter in divided times and we will miss the opportunity to address issues that are important to our community,” they said.

 

Later the next week, MLB announced that the 2021 all-star will be moved to Coors Field, located in Denver, Colorado and home to the Colorado Rockies.