ATLANTA – The following statement about the Georgia House of Representative’s passage on a vote of 100-75 of SB 202 – a third omnibus election administration and voting process bill discussed this session – is by Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for the SPLC Action Fund:
“With still no publicly available version of the latest provisions in the bill available online to the millions of Georgians who will be affected, the Georgia House of Representatives passed another massive anti-voter omnibus bill today.
“SB 202 makes voting more difficult at each stage of the process for Georgians. There are new restrictions on absentee voting, and Georgians will be forced to present certain kinds of identification. Early and Election Day in-person voting will be more restricted, as counties are forced to abide by unfunded mandates that will stretch their already limited resources. And if you’re waiting in a long line, volunteers could be criminally prosecuted for offering you food or water.
“Perhaps most dangerous, these anti-voter bills would allow the Legislature to take over any county’s election administration. The bill’s language would allow the Legislature to actually govern over county election infrastructure and appoint new election administrators even after votes are cast in an election. New administrators could halt certification of results in that county and disenfranchise thousands of Georgians. That would be incredibly destabilizing to our democracy – the exact opposite of what is needed after the 2020 election and runoffs.
“The timing and motivation of all of these anti-voter bills couldn’t be clearer. Legislative leaders want to appease conspiracy theorists advancing dangerous disinformation about recent elections. Throughout session, dozens of bills have advanced because Georgia's leaders clearly believe they need to limit turnout of voters of color, young voters, and voters with disabilities to stay in power.
“We call on the Governor and Senate to publicly oppose this egregious and far-reaching bill as it stands to disproportionately impact historically disenfranchised groups of voters.”