Election ‘reform’ or ‘Jim Crow 2.0’? Now the courts will decide as Northwest Georgia delegation joins legislative majority in passing voter changes; Kemp signed it the same afternoon.

Election ‘reform’ or ‘Jim Crow 2.0’? Now the courts will decide as Northwest Georgia delegation joins legislative majority in passing voter changes; Kemp signed it the same afternoon.

 

In they voted:

Senate: Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, and Bruce Thompson, R-White, voted in favor with the majority. (34 to 20).

House: Katie Dempsey, Matt Gambill, Trey Kelley, Eddie Lumsden, Mitchell Scoggins voted in favor with the majority (100-75).

GPB News reports:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed a massive overhaul of election laws, shortly after the Republican-controlled state legislature approved it. The bill enacts new limitations on mail-in voting, expands most voters’ access to in-person early voting and caps a months-long battle over voting in a battleground state.

“With Senate bill 202, Georgia will take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible and fair,” Kemp told reporters Thursday evening.

Kemp’s remarks during the signing appeared to have been cut short as Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon was escorted out of the building and arrested by Georgia State Patrol. Cannon was seen on video before that knocking on the governor’s door as he spoke. According to the Fulton County Department of Public Safety website, Cannon was charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement officers by use of threats or violence and preventing or disrupting general assembly sessions.

The Georgia State Constitution states that lawmakers “shall be free from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly” except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

The 96-page bill makes dramatic alterations to Georgia’s absentee voting rules, adding new identification requirements, moving back the request deadline and other changes after a record 1.3 million absentee ballots overwhelmed local elections officials and raised Republican skepticism of a voting method they created.

Previous plans to require an excuse to vote by mail, as well as restrict weekend voting hours primarily used in larger Democratic-leaning counties, were scrapped amid mounting opposition from voting rights groups, Democrats and county elections supervisors.

On a 100-75 party-line vote, the state House approved SB 202 early Thursday, and the Senate voted later Thursday to agree with the House changes 34-20 on a party-line vote as well.

 

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