Major Change Made To Voting Laws

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U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee in Georgia temporarily blocked the state’s voting law provision that would prohibit people from distributing water and food to voters who were waiting in line on election day to reach the ballot box. The judge also stopped the requirement that would mandate that voters write their birth date on the absentee ballots they sent.

Other provisions in the law were still allowed to continue being enforced. Boulee noted in terms of the provision of water and food, that while those who provided those things to people who were within 150 feet of the election building should be punished, the punishment should not be extended to the entire Supplemental Zone. As he pointed out in his writings the Supplemental Zone is not clearly defined which could mean that it might extend outside the 150-foot Buffer Zone in some cases.

He also halted the requirement that would mandate voters provide their date of birth on the outside of the envelope containing their absentee ballot. As he pointed out, the state failed to provide substantial evidence that proves that failure to comply with the Birthdate Requirement meant that the ballots were fraudulent.

The Election Integrity Act was signed in the spring of 2021 by Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Some of the other provisions in the Act include increasing the early voting period, placing ballot drop boxes in every county, and making it mandatory for identification to be shown during the voting process.

However, many Democrats have argued against the law, including two times failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams who argued that this law would restrict voting access, especially for people of color.