Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a state election integrity bill into law on Thursday, tightening standards for Georgia’s mail-in ballot system and allowing for state regulation of local boards of elections.
Kemp is signing the law after becoming a lightning rod of criticism for many Trump supporters, with members of his own party blaming him for what they say was a lack of transparency and alleged election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Joe Biden ultimately won the traditionally red state by 12,000 votes.
Georgia will now require a photo ID to vote absentee by mail. Not everyone will be eligible to request a mail-in ballot in upcoming state elections, with the state having adopted universal mail-in electioneering during the previous election.
The state election overhaul passed the Georgia State House 100-75, with the Georgia Senate accepting changes made to the omnibus-style legislation later Thursday 34-20.
The law criminalizes distributing food and water to people waiting in a line to vote, a practice which some election integrity whistleblowers have likened to a form of tacit bribery. The law also shortens the duration between a November general election and subsequent runoff elections, with many criticizing the bizarre structure of the January runoff election for both of Georgia’s Senate seats.
Georgia’s lengthy and haphazard reporting of election results ultimately sowed doubt in the integrity of the state’s 2020 election. Whether you think the contest was stolen or not, these reforms are crucial to restoring trust in the state’s electoral process.