Georgia Senate Passes Law to Require Proof of Identification for Absentee Mail-In Ballots
The Georgia Senate passed a law to require an equivalent level of voter ID to in-person voting for absentee ballots in state elections Tuesday.
The law, passed along party lines 35-18, requires one of three methods of identifications to be mailed in with absentee ballots. Georgia voters can write their driver’s license number, an ID to another form of state identification, or include a photo copy of a state ID with their ballot. Voting in-person in Georgia already requires a similar level of personal identification.
“It’s not about disenfranchising voters. It’s not about overburdening the electorate. It’s about efficiency and security,” said state Senator Larry Walker, who sponsored the legislation. Georgia’s electoral system was assailed over integrity questions after the November election. Wide-ranging voter fraud wasn’t found, but a slow and seemingly random ballot drop process set the state up for criticism regarding the reporting of results.
Proponents of the election integrity are pointing to the overwhelming percentage of Georgians who already have either a driver’s license or state ID number on file with the state. Only 3% of registered voters have neither a license or state ID.
Democrats were quick to assail the commonsense election integrity, with one state senator breaking into tears on the Senate floor.
Another election law passed by the Senate on Tuesday preventing the public release of election results before the total number of ballots is reported. This would ensure that votes aren’t being counted while ballots are still being dropped off. This law also authorizes the counting of absentee ballots before election day, which would enable state officials to report results on election night.
An even more wide-ranging election integrity package is under consideration in the Georgia House of Representatives.