ATLANTA – Shortly after passing the House of Representatives earlier today, the Senate voted to approve the House’s amendments to SB 202, also known as the Election Integrity Act.
The House passed SB 202 with a 100-75 vote. The Senate approved the amendment 34-20.
Kemp intends to sign the bill tonight at 6:30 p.m. Following the signing of the bill, Governor Kemp will deliver remarks from the Governor’s Ceremonial Office. The remarks will be broadcast live on GPB.org.
The Election Integrity Act will bring sweeping changes to the election process in Georgia. Drop boxes will only be allowed to be placed inside early voting locations during voting hours. Food or drink stations must be set up 150 feet away from polling locations in accordance with existing campaigning laws. If someone breaks those rules, they can be charged with a misdemeanor. Unlimited challenges for voter eligibility and registration.
State elections board gains more power in the bill as well with the legislature now appointing the chairman. Previously, the Secretary of State served as the chairman, but under SB 202, the Secretary of State would assume a more administrative role. The state board can also review local boards of elections when needed and if necessary appoint one person to replace the board.
Several Senate Democrats argued extending a hand of control over local boards was just a grab for power by Republicans who are unsure how to win in a changing Georgia.
Runoff elections would move from nine weeks after the primary to four weeks.
Secretary of State and state elections board would inform the legislature before entering into any agreements, settlements, or consent orders.
Two days of Saturday voting and Sunday voting will be implemented as well.
The 90-plus page bill details all the changes to O.C.G.A. Those interested can read it on the General Assembly’s site.