Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

At Least 50 Reasons Why Georgia SB202 Is A Bad Bill

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 29, 2021


SB 202 Linked Here For Citations

HYPERCRIMINALIZATION: Georgia’s new law codifies mass disenfranchisement and intimidation and further expands criminalization policy in the voting process.1.Mass Challenges:Codifies that a single person can challenge the voter registration of an unlimited # of voters at once, resulting in that voter being purged. (lines 575576)

1. Mass Challenges: Codifies that a single person can challenge the voter registration of an unlimited # of voters at once, resulting in that voter being purged. (lines 575576)

2. Mass Challenges: Codifies that a single person can challenge the rights of an unlimited # of voters to cast their ballot in the upcoming election. 364k Georgians were frivolously challenged in the runoffs. In just 29 counties, 15,000 Black voters, 2,000 Hispanic voters, and 1500 AAPI voters were challenged.(lines 622623)

Georgia’s nickname is the “Peach State,” and it is one of the 13 original colonies.

3. Mass Challenges: Mandates counties hold mass challenge hearings that challenged voter must show up towithin 10 days of frivolous challenge. (line 581)

4. Linewarming/Criminalization: Makes it a crime for volunteers or groups to hand water or snacks to voters in line. (lines 18731875)

5. Linewarming/Criminalization: Makes it a crime for *voters* in line to accept water or snacks from a volunteer or group. Bill later amended to allow an “unattended receptacle” near line. (lines 18731875, lines 18871889)

6. Criminalization: Creates a new misdemeanor for voters if the voter allows someone other than those authorized under state/federal law to see them marking their ballot at home. (lines 1339, 13471349)

7. Criminalization: Creates a new felony for anyone that witnesses someone else mark their *absentee* ballot at home unless they are providing legally authorized assistance or are a child. (lines 24492454)

8. Criminalization: Creates a new misdemeanor for handling a completed application for anyone not authorized by law to assist voter. (lines 979981)

9. Criminalization: Adds new misdemeanor for photographing your own *absentee* ballot or someone else’s. (expanding existing law to ensure VBM also criminalized) (line 2460)

10. Intimidation: Creates new fraud hotline that will accept “anonymous tips” and AG can launch investigations or prosecute within 3 days. (lines 171178)

POWER GRABS/CONSOLIDATION OF ELECTION AUTHORITY: Georgia’s new law removes significant power from the Secretary of State and gives the GOPled, gerrymandered state legislature majority control of the State Election Board.

11. Removes SOS Power: Removes the Secretary of State as Chair of the State Election Board (line 185).

12. State Legislature Controls SEB: Grants state legislature power to appoint new chair of State Election Board (SEB). Meaning state legislature will choose 3 out of 5 State Election Board members going forward, a majority. (lines 185 189)

13. Removes SOS Power: Removes the SOS as a voting member of the State Election Board (lines 252253).

14. Removes SOS Power: Bill amended at last second to remove SOS power to appoint members of performance review board. (lines 500503, line 521, line 540 || vs. lines 499502, line 520, line 540 of bill as passed SEI committee: LC280338S)

15. Removes SOS Power: Requires SOS provide all necessary support/assistance to SEB for county takeovers at the sole discretion of SEB (lines 270281).

16. Removes SOS Power: Bans SOS/counties from proactively sending vote by mail applications without a request. (lines 966970)

17. Legislative Power: Allows state legislature to overrule any emergency election rule (lines 24912494)

COUNTY ELECTION BOARD TAKEOVERS: Georgia’s new law removes judicial oversight from the county intervention process and grants a GOPcontrolled State Election Board the power to replace county BOEs and local elections officials that have significant voter access and election certification responsibilities.

18. No Judicial Oversight: Removes judicial oversight from county takeover process. Georgia already had a process to deal with lowperforming counties, but it required judicial oversight of the State Election Board (SEB). The new process replaces judicial oversight with opaque investigation/takeover powers. (See Georgia Code § 21232 for previous process)

19. Takeovers: Allows SEB to replace entire county board of elections with a single individual. (lines 270281)

20. Takeovers: Allows SEB to circumvent a performance review board process (see #2124) and replace county BOE or county elections official “on its own motion.” (lines 289292)

21. Takeovers: Allows SEB to use the results of ANY audit or ANY investigation from past or present as grounds for removal/suspension of a county board of elections. (line 518)

22. Takeovers: Grants SEB power to suspend county board of elections following a 3person performance review board investigation & hearing. (lines 485486, 517519)

23. Takeovers: Grants SEB power to appoint all 3 members of performance review board. Including 2 local elections officials from ANY county. (lines 502506)

24. Takeovers: Grants as few as 24 legislators from a county delegation, the county board of commissioners, or the SEB itself, the ability to petition for a performance review board investigation that can lead to a takeover after 30 days. However, SEB can call witness/request doc immediately (lines 490499, 521, 351)

25. Takeovers: Allows SEB to begin performance review investigation/takeover process if county BOE does not report results by 5pm the day after the election. (lines 18021805)

26. Takeovers: Prohibits counties from using their budget to pay for their defense in takeover proceedings. (lines 357360)

27. Takeovers: Requires counties pay any expenses incurred by performance review board. (lines 514516, 533535)

[**In addition to SB202, at least 7 counties passed local legislation this session to restructure their county boards of elections in ways that limit or remove Democratic Party representation or give GOP Boards of Commissioners increased authority to appoint BOE members

SANCTIONS: Georgia’s new voting law allows the State Election Board to sanction counties that don’t accept unlimited challenges or fail to hold mass challenge hearings within 10 days.

28. SEB Sanctions: Grants SEB power to sanction organizations for sending VBM applications if voter already received one and organization can’t prove they used recent SOS data. (lines 10331043)

29. SEB Sanctions: Grants SEB power to sanction county BOE for not accepting unlimited challenges or not holding challenge hearings within 10 days. (lines 607608, 693694)

PROVISIONAL BALLOTS:Georgia’s new voting law bans most outofprecinct provisional ballots. Over 20k provisional ballots were counted in the 2020 general & 2021 runoff elections and these ballots were nearly 70% Democratic voters

30. Bans Most OutOfPrecinct Ballots: Bans outofprecinct provisional ballots except for 57pm on Election Day: these provisional ballots make up the majority of the provisionals actually counted because they are “selfcuring,” meaning no more action was required of the voter. Provisional ballots were nearly 70% democratic in 2020 general/runoff election. Over 20K Georgians, disproportionately Black, successfully voted by provisional ballot in 2020 general and 2021 runoff elections. In the general, at least 58% of the 11,120 provisional ballots that counted were outofprecinct (6,446 votes). Biden took 64% of provisionals and won by 11,779 total votes. Ossoff took 68% of 10,037 provisional ballots and Warnock took 69% of 10,034 provisional ballots. (lines 18991904)

31. Sworn Statement Required: Requires outofprecinct voters b/w 57pm to sign a sworn statement providing explicit reason for needing a provisional ballot/why they could not trek back to another polling place assigned to them. (lines 19051907)

32. SEB Review: Requires all sworn statements for outofprecinct voters be sent to the State Election Board for “review.” (lines 19681972)

DROP BOX RESTRICTIONS: Georgia’s new law completely eliminates over 300 hours of drop box availability relative to 2020. The law also significantly reduces the total number of drop boxes, using “uniformity” as an excuse to race to the bottom in voter access.

33. Significantly Restricts Drop Box Hours: Eliminates at least 300 hours of drop box access relative to last year. Because drop boxes are no longer available after hours or in the four days after early vote ends. (lines 11831185)

34. Significantly Restricts Drop Box Locations: Aggressively limits the number of drop boxes large counties can have relative to last year: Sets minimum of 1/county, only allows 1 for every 100,000 voters or 1 for every advance voting location whichever is LOWER. They are using “uniformity” as an excuse to a race to the bottom in voter access. (lines 11721179)

35. Bans Drop Boxes From Being Outside: Prevents drop boxes from being outside in almost all cases (unless the Governor has declared a public emergency). (lines 11801181, 11881191)

36. Increases Cost To Counties: Changes drop box security requirement from 24/7 camera surveillance to inperson security substantially increasing costs to counties (lines 11871188)

[These changes will increase the burden on senior and disabled voters. These changes will lead to longer lines. Given absentee ballots can take days to arrive by mail, these restrictions also increase the chance that a ballot arrives after election day. Georgia republicans have chosen to replace a more secure drop box option (24/7 surveillance and shorter chain of custody) with a less secure mail option.]

37. Shorten Request Period: Shortens period to request a ballot by 109 days: 57,815 Georgians requested a ballot earlier than the new start date of 78 days prior to election. (lines 927929)

38. Shorten Request Deadline: Shortens ballot request deadline to 11 days before election, a full 5 days earlier than counties supported. 17,602 voters requested a ballot after this time last year. (lines 933937)

39. New ID: Adds new voter id requirement to application (if no DL/state ID #). **NOTE THERE IS NO SSN OPTION FOR VBM APPLICATIONS.** If you cannot successfully request a ballot then you cannot cast one. As many as 200,000 Georgians do not have these IDs. (lines 951954) 

40. New ID: Adds new voter ID requirement to ballot (if no DL/state ID/SSN). (lines 14661468)

41. Makes Requesting Harder: Repeals law requiring ballot to be mailed to unregistered eligible voters who apply for VBM application. (lines 11151119)

42. DOB Requirement: Adds DOB requirement back to VBM envelope after removed in 2019. This requirement led to Date vs. DOB voter confusion and two federal courts have ruled in GA cases that counties must count ballots with DOB issues (which is why it was removed). (lines 14591460)

IN PERSON RESTRICTIONS: Georgia’s new law cuts runoff elections by 5 weeks, reduces minimum early vote required for federal runoffs, likely eliminates runoff VBM options, and lowers the bar for early vote hours.

[Note: Reducing participation in already racist Jim Crow relic runoff elections is next level. See https://t.co/eIAPC1p3zJ?amp=1]

43. Cuts Overall Runoff: Shortens runoff period from 9 weeks to 4 weeks/28 days, likely eliminating VBM options for runoff elections: 1,380,807 Georgians voted during the weeks that have now been cut. (line 2238)

44. Prevents New Runoff Registrations: Prevents newly eligible voters from voting in runoff elections given registration deadline in Georgia is 29 days before an election. (line 2238)

45. Reduces Minimum Early Vote in Federal Runoffs: Reduces early vote mandatory minimum for federal runoffs from 3 weeks to 1 week. As such, it will also eliminate a mandatory Saturday of early vote for federal elections. (lines 14901496)

46. Eliminates Mandatory Saturday in Federal Runoffs: By reducing the mandatory minimum early vote for federal runoffs to 1 week (MonFri), SB202 also eliminates the mandatory Saturday of early vote for federal runoff elections.(lines 14901499)

47. Bans Mobile Voting: Bans mobile voting units unless approved following a Governor declared state of emergency (lines 776778)

48. Lowers Standard For Early Voting Hours: Codified a minimum of 8 early voting hours between 9am5pm and a maximum of 12hrs/day between 7am7pm. In the 2020 general election, 87% of early vote locations and 78% of counties offered MORE THAN 8hrs. Setting the bar for access well below standard practice provides the 1excuse, 2permission, & 3impetus for increasingly competitive counties with large demographic shifts to restrict early vote hours. (line 1500, lines 15141515)

OTHER RESTRICTIONS: Georgia’s new voting law also bans counties from accepting grant money to fund elections, limits voting resources, & more. While there are certainly provisions missed, these 50 clearly show that SB202, at its core, is a bill meant to restrict access & criminalize voting.

49. County Election Funding: Bans BOE’s from accepting private grant money for any reason including to: Open more locations, pay poll workers, add equipment, etc. (lines 430435)

50. Poll Extensions: Makes extending poll hours past 9pm more difficult. (lines 18331839)

51. Limits Voting Resources: Allows counties to have fewer than 1 voting machine for every 250 voters in nongeneral elections. (lines 866868)

52. Count Till You Drop: Requires 24/7 counting of ballots after polls close. (lines 20062008)

GOP TALKERS: Why do some claim it is not all bad? SB202 allows early tabulation, ends signature match, adds 1 Saturday early vote day (no difference for larger counties) & allows more people in adjoining counties to be poll workers (the bill also includes precinct splitting which is complicated so withholding as a positive here).

SUMMARY: While the full text shows SB202’s true impact, the actual intent of this bill is clear from its origins: The same lies that fueled an insurrection, and the same policies first introduced at disinformationfilled hearings held by the Georgia State Senate (12/3) & State House (12/23) that led to death threats & doxxing of Black election workers.

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