It was only a matter of time before Republicans in the state of Georgia, bruised by their losses in the 2020 and 2021 elections, used the defeats to try make it harder to vote. The other alternative would be to try to win over new voters, but that’s not how the Georgia GOP operates. Instead, what we get are efforts like Senate Bill 29, introduced Wednesday, that would require absentee voters to provide copies of their ID twice—first, when they applied for an absentee ballot and, then again, when they returned it. The sudden interest in absentee ballot security comes after 1.3 million Georgians voted absentee during the presidential election, a race that saw Democrats win the state for the first time in decades. In elections past, more Republicans than Democrats voted absentee each cycle, but in 2020 the Democratic absentee vote count nearly doubled Republican absentee votes. See where this is going?
You guessed it, absentee voting is clearly dodgy and dangerous now that Democrats are doing it, and Republican leaders in Georgia have vowed to make it harder to vote via absentee ballot. That has left Democratic lawmakers “bracing for a wave of bills from the Republican majority that would make it harder to vote in the name of preventing potential fraud,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported ahead of the legislative session that began this week. “That era of widespread absentee voting will quickly come to an end if the Georgia General Assembly passes laws this year to eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, ballot drop boxes and unsolicited absentee ballot application mailings, as Republicans have proposed.”
All of this despite the fact that an audit performed by the state of Georgia on 15,000 absentee ballot signatures did not find a single instance of fraud. So what is it that Republican lawmakers are combatting again?