Legislative Day 35 is in the books, and, when the General Assembly gavels in on Monday, there will be 5 remaining days. Those five days are going to be long, arduous, and full of activity.
We’ll keep you updated along the way, but, today, I want to give everyone a brief answer to the question I get asked most: “So, what is going on with the election bills?”
First, let me stake out what, I think, is a series of consensus statements:
- There were issues in the 2020 election cycle.
- There are flaws in our system that can be exploited in 2022 and beyond.
- Every fraudulent ballot cast dilutes a valid ballot.
- The combination of the pandemic, the Democrat emphasis on mail-in ballots, and years of Stacey Abrams lawsuits that weakened our laws made this election more susceptible for fraud.
- If you truly care about democracy, you should care just as much about a secure vote as ensuring everyone can vote.
- Stacey Abrams and the radical left want to cheat. Those who care about a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished, don’t want to cheat. It’s their vote we need to protect from being diluted.
Second, let me tell you where we are in reaction to this:
- Citizens in Georgia have spoken up. Through our system alone, thousands of messages have been sent to leaders.
- Republican leaders in Georgia – from the Governor to House leadership to Senate leadership – are united behind significant reform. That’s not to say they are in 100% agreement on problems/solutions. But, there is agreement that there were problems and that we need to fix them.
- More than 70 election bills have been offered this legislative session.
- More than 10 bills of significance remain “alive” after Crossover – including the “omnibus bills” – that cover sweeping reforms (more than 60 pages each) from the House (HB 531) and Senate (SB 241). In addition, there’s another 90+ page bill that has been added to SB 202, and that continues to be adjusted. It’s possible that this may be the bill that gets to the finish line.
- These bills address a wide range of issues, and our confidence is HIGH that a bill – or multiple bills – will pass to address substantial concerns. Keep in mind that multiple bills have passed the Senate, many sponsored by members of leadership. The House passed a major bill, sponsored by a highly influential chairman. The support is there to make it happen.
Third, let me tell you what we’re encouraging on these bills. We support efforts to:
- End no-excuse absentee (I’ll note that there are legal experts that believe this may be problematic, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan – whose bill was the only omnibus bill that would have taken this step – has said publicly that there is not enough support to achieve this.)
- End “automatic voter registration” (I’ll note that there are legal experts that believe this may be problematic)
- Require photo ID for absentee ballots
- Make early voting hours more uniform and more manageable
- Curtail unsecure drop boxes and mobile voting
- Ensure there is no financial or tangible “gift” for voting (eg. providing meals outside the polling place)
- Address signature verification
- Prevent non-profits and outside organizations from sending unsolicited absentee ballot request or make it clear that what they are sending is NOT a state document
- Require regular and vigilant cleaning of the voter rolls
- Enforce transparency regarding number and types of ballots remaining to be counted
- Protect poll watchers and ensure viable observation
These measures and others, I believe, will take significant step toward restoring confidence and eliminating avenues for cheating.
So, what needs to happen between now and then:
- Utilize our Action Alert on Election Integrity to ask your legislators to vote for these bills.
- ENCOURAGE your legislator. There is enough agreement to pass bills of substance. But, the Democrats and media are trying to make this about “racism.” That’s insane! These legislators are not racist, and being accused of such evil tends to wear on someone. They’ve taken a lot of heat. Now is a time to encourage them.
- Let us know if you’d like to join us at the Capitol! The Left is sending angry, hostile, and dramatic activists who try to intimidate our legislators. I’m sure our legislator friends who support election integrity would enjoy seeing a friendly face.
- Consider supporting our legislative efforts with a $25, $100, $250, or greater donation to help our team reach the finish line this session.
I hope this was helpful. We’re working on a lot of issues to advance our values, and we’ll keep you updated on those. But, I wanted you to share what’s going on regarding an issue that is imperative to ensuring we have the ability to elect those who advance our values.
President and Executive Director
PS. We have more-than-doubled our investment in our policy efforts this legislative cycle. I believe the results are there. To help us with these costs, consider supporting our legislative efforts with a $25, $100, $250, or greater donation to help our team reach the finish line this session.