ATLANTA — Today, Georgia House Republicans led by Representative Barry Fleming rushed out a 93-page long substitute to SB 202 right before a key committee meeting to try and ram through their anti-voting agenda as part of their unconstitutional attacks on Georgians’ voting rights.
This monstrosity of a substitute not only includes a false and misleading preamble promoting the Big Lie and election conspiracy theories as part of Georgia Republicans’ ongoing efforts to appease insurrectionists, but also mirrors their similarly disastrous assaults on the right to vote, HB 531 and SB 241. In fact, in their desperation to pass those widely-panned omnibus bills, they’ve copied and pasted whole provisions from those bills into this one!
The new substitute bill would in turn lead to longer lines and more restrictive rules for absentee ballots while limiting weekend voting and threatening Georgians’ privacy by creating new risks of identity theft just to request a mail-in ballot. This substitute also once again grants the state legislature unprecedented power over elections and the State Election Board while stripping voters of representation.
And just like Republicans’ previous efforts to strip voting rights that come with tens of millions of dollars in unfunded mandates, this substitute would also limit counties’ abilities to receive and use critical non-governmental funding that many have previously used to pay for the cost of running elections — even as the bill likely INCREASES those costs.
“This substitute bill is yet another desperate and reckless attempt by Georgia Republicans to try and force their backwards and anti-democratic attacks on voting rights through the state legislature,” said Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo. “Georgia Republicans are doubling down on efforts to continue undermining faith in our democratic system. This bill not only promotes the Big Lie of election conspiracy theories, but will add onerous ID requirements, limit weekend voting, and further restrict Georgians voting rights as part of a desperate power grab made to appease insurrectionists and losing political candidates. It’s past time for ALL leaders across Georgia — including in the business community — to oppose these dangerous attacks on our fundamental rights.”