While the Senate passed the proposal to end “no excuse” absentee voting, four senators — including Rome’s Chuck Hufstetler — were excused from the vote. Also opting out, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. Said Hufstetler, R-52, in a comment Tuesday morning:
“I was off the flooring working on a finance bill. They had the votes (to pass it). There is a lot of good in the bill. It will got o a conference in the House and get some modifications. I hope to be able to vote for it when it comes back.”
Expanded details below. Also, how Floyd County voted Nov. 3.
Republicans in the Georgia Senate narrowly approved SB 241, an omnibus voting bill that would end no-excuse absentee voting 16 years after Republicans first enacted it.
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who is opposed to removing no-excuse absentee and other extreme measures proposed by fellow Republicans in his chamber, did not preside over debate and the vote.
Three vulnerable Republican senators from swing districts, John Albers (R-Roswell), Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) and Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) were the only ones who did not cosponsor the bill and opted to be excused from the vote. Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) was excused from the vote as well.
In the 56-member Senate, 29 votes is the minimum needed for a bill to pass.
SB 241 would make a sweeping number of changes to Georgia’s election code, most notably cracking down on who is eligible to vote by mail. Instead of allowing anyone to request and vote an absentee ballot, the bill would limit it to those over 65, are physically disabled, required to be outside of their voting precinct during the three-week in person early voting period and election day, have a religious holiday fall on election day, works in elections or is a military or overseas absentee voter.
How Floyd voted in the presidential election. Per the Secretary of State’s office report on election totals for the Trump/Biden vote:
- In Floyd County, 54.3% of the 41,648 voters taking part in the presidential race alone voted in advance. Another 20.4% voted absentee. That’s 31,228 voters of 75 percent overall. A clear majority voted Republican.
- In the past election cycle, there were five drop boxes each in Floyd and Bartow counties.
- Floyd had both Saturday and Sunday voting in each election phase last year. Most other area counties had Saturday voting from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.