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What’s Happening In Georgia?

April 15, 2021

Georgia’s making headline news once again. Why? We’re breaking it down below!

Background

US President Joe Biden
During the 2020 US presidential election, Georgia became the talk of the country. President Biden had won the state with a very slim margin and talk of both voter fraud (or when people vote illegally), as well as voter suppression (or when people aren’t given the opportunity to vote) put the legitimacy of the victory in question. After a recount was completed, Biden was once again declared the winner. Nevertheless, the rumors of voter fraud continued to fuel the flames for those who felt like the victory should’ve been Trump’s.

Georgia’s New Voting Law
In late March, the Georgia state senate passed a new voting bill. This new law makes it illegal for the government to send all registered voters an application to request for an absentee ballot (or a ballot they can complete and mail in from home), shortens the timeframe for when someone can request an absentee ballot, and requires those dropping off an absentee ballot to sign (what was required before) and include their driver’s license number on the ballot. Oh, and don’t even think about offering food or water to people waiting in the long lines to vote—that’s now illegal in Georgia!

Why Is This New Voting Law Raising Eyebrows?
Community organizers and politicians who opposed the law see this new law as an effort to suppress votes. After all, shortening the timeframe to request absentee ballots, decreasing the number of ballot drop off boxes, and making it illegal for the government to send applications to all registered voters as a reminder to request their ballots are all actions that make it harder, not easier, for a person to vote.

What’s Happened Since The New Voting Bill Passed?
Large companies that are headquartered in Georgia have spoken out against the new voting law and some organizations, like Major League Baseball, have decided to protest the law by moving their large events to other states. While some may agree with these moves, others don’t. Those in favor of these moves argue that money talks. An event such as MLB’s all-star game brings a lot of money to the state and a decision to move the game to another state means Georgia will be losing a lot of potential income. Those who are against these moves argue that it’s the small businesses that depend on these large events that will ultimately lose out, not the state.

via Pixabay

What Now?
Georgia may be the first state to pass such a bill, but it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, lawmakers in nearly all fifty states have introduced some sort of voting bill that would make it harder for people to vote. Only time will tell if other state legislatures will follow in Georgia’s footsteps.