Georgia Senate votes to end no excuse absentee voting
ATLANTA (WDEF) – The Georgia Senate on Monday afternoon voted to end no-excuse absentee voting in the state.
The practice was first passed by a Republican legislature 16 years ago.
Before, anyone who asked for an absentee ballot could get one in Georgia.
But if this bill passes, you will only be able to vote absentee under the following conditions:
— 65 or older
— physically disabled
— required to be outside of voting precinct early voting period and election day
— religious holiday on election day
— election worker or military, or overseas during voting
The final vote was 29-20, with several Republicans who face tough re-elections, skipping the vote.
John Albers (R-Roswell), Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) and Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) and Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) all opted out of the vote.
Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan usually presides over Senate business. But since he opposed this bill and other voting restriction legislation coming up, he did not preside over the debate.
All other Republicans in the Senate signed on as co-sponsors to the measure, including Sen. Jeff Mullis from Chickamauga.
Secretary of State (and voting boss) Brad Raffensperger does support cutting back on the volume of mail in ballots that election workers were flooded with last year.
But Both Governor Kemp and House Speaker Ralston do not support limiting mail-in voting.
The House of Representatives is taking a different approach by requiring more security of absentee ballots and changing early voting hours.
That could mean that a Senate and House conference committee may decide the final outcome of the new voting rules for Georgia.