Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) expressed outrage over state Republican lawmakers moving to end no-excuse absentee voting, automatic voter registration, and ballot drop boxes, calling the proposals “shameful.”
“This is shameful,” the newly-elected senator said of the proposals. “We need to swiftly pass the For The People Act to strengthen access to the ballot and prevent voter suppression from silencing our voices”:
This is shameful. We need to swiftly pass the For The People Act to strengthen access to the ballot and prevent voter suppression from silencing our voices. https://t.co/qqgt6Kt2az
— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) February 2, 2021
Republican state senators in Georgia introduced bills Monday targeting a number of controversial voting issues, including no-excuse absentee voting. According to AJC, the measure would limit absentee voting to “those over 75 years old, voters with disabilities or anyone required to be absent from his or her precinct.”
The measures also include efforts to ban ballot drop boxes, requiring absentee voters to instead send their ballot in through the mail or deliver it to the country election office. Another proposal would prevent automatic voter registration.
“We’ve got to restore confidence in the ballot box,” Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, who cosponsored the bills, said. “When people lose confidence in the ballot box they ultimately lose confidence in their government.”
“Our goal is to be sure every vote is accounted for, accurate and legal,” he added.
Democrats, however, contend that the measures amount to voter suppression.
“If you restrict access, then people get discouraged and they don’t vote. They don’t come back,” Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler (D) said. “We have to make the argument that it’s a good process. People were able to vote, and they voted in record numbers.”
The legislation follows a controversial presidential election and subsequent runoffs, which thrust the Peach State into the spotlight amid the mounting reports and suspicions of irregularities, sowing a sense of distrust among many voters nationwide.
Democrat lawmakers have been pushing H.R. 1, or the “For the People Act,” which would “nationally mandate automated mailing out of ballots to registered voters for elections while prohibiting states from having photo-ID requirements for ballot submission or signature verification of ballots,” as Breitbart News reported.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) spoke about the proposal in December, warning that the left’s priorities “include a national mandate for mail-in voting, legalization of ballot harvesting, and ending photo-ID requirements for voting.”
“H.R. 1, under [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, was a radical election law bill that would have mandated universal mail-out balloting in every state of the union. It would have required states to permit ballot harvesting. It wouldn’t have only prohibited photo identification — which [is] needful — it would have prohibited even signature verification,” he told Breitbart News Daily.
Democrats, again, showed that they remain dedicated to altering U.S. election laws, with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introducing a bill last week, the “Vote at Home Act,” designed to expand “Oregon-style” mail-in voting nationwide.