Tune in to the Georgia Senate today at 10 AM to hear debate on voting bills, including one that would add DL/state ID # to absentee applications, another that would require counties to begin processing absentee ballots earlier. #gapol

Watch: livestream.com/accounts/26021…
Read more about some of these proposals:
gpb.org/news/2021/02/1…
SB 67 is the bill that has largest support of Republican leaders in the House, Senate, SOS and gov's office.

Paper absentee applications would need your DL number or state ID number (same as on the online portal now) OR photocopy of photo ID.

legis.ga.gov/legislation/59…
There's been some very emotional floor speeches in opposition to this bill, especially Sen. David Lucas of Macon who said that this would be challenged in court and taxpayer money would be spent trying to settle it.

Also, there's concerns about privacy/protecting voter info.
SB 67, the absentee application photo ID bill, passes the Senate.
Up next on the floor is SB 188, which would prevent counties from uploading election results until they have the total # of ballots cast early, absentee and on Election Day.

That would likely make results take longer, instead of quicker, it seems. #gapol
legis.ga.gov/legislation/59…
One thing SB 188 would do for statewide races: make a "red mirage" as smaller, rural Republican counties would get through things quicker while Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett etc. wouldn't report results until much later, if they had to wait to capture total ballots cast...
SB 188 is a bill written and endorsed by lawmakers that don't understand how vote counting works.

It's never done by election night!

Counties very rarely know exactly how many votes are cast quickly because of provisional+absentee adjudication+bigger counties take longer!
Sen. Cowsert, the bill's sponsor, said he's heard no opposition from county elections officials - but also, I haven't heard any in support of it either.

This would also make more work for larger (typically Democratic) counties to double-check all their precincts before posting.
And Sen. @elenaparent asks how much this would cost to update Georgia's current election night reporting system... Cowsert had no answer.

This would have to upgrade things, and that definitely costs money...
ALSO these GOP lawmakers are talking about requiring data that *already exists* and is *already public* in the absentee file... you can look daily to see how many ballots have been requested, returned, rejected, etc.

It's right there.
SB 188, which would delay election results until the total number of votes cast have been determined, passes.
SB 40 by @senatorjen passes, which would have county elections officials start processing absentee ballots earlier (a week before Election Day) to speed up the counting process, and in theory would help counties have totals faster for SB 188.
Finally, we have SB 184, which shortens the time counties have post election to enter voter credit.

Sen. Cowsert says it helps people know their votes were counted, but the average voter can't access voter history file! Probably means the My Voter Page.

legis.ga.gov/legislation/59…
Cowsert admits that he hasn't really heard from elections boards/elections officials about his bills, but says the bill has been in public realm for a bit ergo nobody complained.

This is the logic behind how most bills get passed without scrutiny...
hmmm... Sen. Gloria Butler says she talked to DeKalb officials and they said 30 days would not be a long enough time to do things.

SB 184, which shortens the time after an election that counties have to enter voting credit, passes.

All 4 voting bills passed the Senate today.
Lt. Gov. @GeoffDuncanGA issues a statement applauding the bills, noting that he only supports "common-sense election reforms" that modernize Georgia's election laws.

Many proposals in the chamber... do not meet that descriptor.

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More from @stphnfwlr

25 Feb
Good morning!

The Georgia Senate is already hearing the omnibus voting bill SB 241 in committee this morning at 7:30 AM.

It would give GA some of the most restrictive absentee laws in the country. #gapol

Watch: livestream.com/accounts/26021… Image
The first bill up is SB 62, which would do a number of things with ballots. The first would require precinct info to be more clearly printed, plus security markers. That ballot paper would likely cost more.

It passes committee.

legis.ga.gov/legislation/59…
UP NOW: We're doing a hearing *only* on Senate omnibus SB 241

Majority Leader Dugan is walking through each section.

gpb.org/news/2021/02/2…
Read 10 tweets
24 Feb
Happening now: another day of committee hearings for House elections omnibus HB 531.

Among other things, it would ban Sunday early voting. #gapol

Watch: livestream.com/accounts/25225…
There's yet another committee substitute, but this time I don't have it. Yay transparency!

But we're walking through the changes now.
Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones has an amendment that would codify drop boxes and require every county to have absentee drop boxes - one per 100k active voters - and would be located at early voting sites or elections board offices.
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb
NEW: A bill cosponsored by all but 3 GOP state Senators would give Georgia one of the most restrictive absentee voting laws in the country, the latest attempt to make voting harder after Democratic victories. #gapol

More on the *other* omnibus:

gpb.org/news/2021/02/2…
SB 241 would severely limit who is eligible to vote by mail, require applications to be made under oath with additional ID requirements and require some *ballots* to have a witness signature+include a photocopy of ID to be counted.

gpb.org/news/2021/02/2…
Currently, Georgia is one of 34 states that does not require an excuse to vote by mail and one of 19 states that conducts signature verification of absentee applications. Only two states require photo ID to be submitted with the actual ballot.

gpb.org/news/2021/02/2…
Read 9 tweets
24 Feb
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State kicks off this week's State Election Board meeting - one where the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems is slated to speak. #gapol Image
John Poulos, CEO of Dominion Voting Systems:

"I find it important these days to specifically talk about what we do as a company and what we don't do as a company..."

Do: provide election technology
Don't: run elections (that's the 159 counties in Georgia) Image
Poulos is running through the certification process that Dominion systems (and all voting machine vendors) go through, knocking down some of the conspiracies and misinfo spread by Sidney Powell and others.

Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
NEW: Georgia Senate Republicans have dropped SB 241, their 25 page omnibus election bill that would dramatically restrict absentee voting (ending no-excuse and requiring a witness) and other reactionary measures after Democrats won in Nov+Jan. #gapol

beta.documentcloud.org/documents/2049…
GA SOS office breaks silence with a dig at many of these bills making their way through the legislature. #gapol

"At the end of the day many of these bills are reactionary to a three month disinformation campaign that could have been prevented.” Image
Section 1 would establish a hotline for "voter intimidation and illegal election activities" that the AG's office would have to investigate within three business days.

Not discussed: Who's gonna pay for/staff that. (Also the State Election Board handles elections investigations) Image
Read 29 tweets
23 Feb
Here's the latest version of HB 531, generously obtained about an hour before the committee meeting to discuss it since chair won't share!

Would still ban Sunday voting and adds a couple more sections that were discussed yesterday.

60 pages now. #gapol

beta.documentcloud.org/documents/2049…
Watch the committee hearing for yourselves at 3:30 here:

livestream.com/accounts/25225…
We're underway, with fill-in chairman Alan Powell. We've got about 4-5 people left to testify.
Read 9 tweets

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