The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Georgia’s new voting bill

Julia Jensen | Art Director
Election Law

In the peak of election season, the Georgia state government has decided to take a stand in favor of changing voting laws. Republican activists have pushed for a law to combat former President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. According to Campaign Legal, a nonprofit organization that enforces voting laws, in 2020, Trump filed lawsuits regarding alleged voter fraud. 

Senate Bill 189, a bill questioning voter eligibility and registration, was passed in the Senate with a vote of 33-22 and in the House with a vote of 101-73. The bill is now on Governor Brian Kemp’s desk and is awaiting a possible veto or signature. 

The biggest concern voters have with this bill is that it questions voter eligibility. The threat of voter fraud is the driving force for those in support of the bill to investigate voter eligibility. Due to the 2024 presidential election coming up in November, this idea could be frightening to those who are voting. 

The main takeaway is that Republicans who are for this bill want voter registration to be checked before someone can vote in order to prevent voter fraud. This will be done by using AI and probable cause to invalidate suspicious registrations. Those who would qualify for an invalid registration would include homeless individuals who are registered at a nonresidential location, deceased people and those who have not been fully paying taxes. 

In smaller counties, this bill would push for paper ballots to be used if the population of registered voters is less than 5,000. This could allow for ballots to be counted by hand and recounted more easily. The bill will also allow for any candidate to be written in for the presidential spot, including independent candidates, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

To take those who are registered to vote in a nonresidential address would mean stripping a lot of homeless citizens of their right to vote. The Democrats who oppose this bill are not in favor of this. Some Democrats who oppose this bill are also claiming that this change could overwhelm the voting system and those in charge of running the elections. 

“What this bill does is ensure that your legal vote does matter,” said John Lahood, the Republican chairman of the Georgia House. 

As for the voters within the community, there is worry about how this bill will affect the individual as well as the community as a whole. 

“This bill is not unconstitutional,” said Allen Brown, a senior history major. “Voting is a privilege, not a right. Voting should be taken a lot more seriously. I mean, there are millions voting who don’t pay taxes or own any property and are also here illegally.

Some believe this bill could be stripping citizens of their ability to vote unfairly, while others think this bill could be protecting our republic and voting institution entirely. 

“I believe that for our country to maintain its integrity and have fair elections, voters need to be registered, law-abiding citizens of the United States,” said Caden Flemming, a senior management information systems, or MIS, major.

The state of Georgia is currently a swing state and has been for a very long time, and it holds 16 electoral college votes. This is the second most in the Southeast behind Florida, which has 30 votes. Georgia is important in elections, as the state could easily impact the outcome of who becomes president. 

Voting is one of the many ways a person can be involved with the government, but this bill could limit those who can do so. This bill could help add back the authority and fairness into elections, but it could also cause more injustices in the long run. 

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