Want to know more about the various election-related legislation introduced in the General Assembly so far?
Members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus will be holding a series of “Protect Your Voting Rights” town hall meetings around the state this week to talk about proposed bills that may impact state and local elections. The meetings will be held in Clayton County, DeKalb County, Douglas County, Cobb County, Fulton County, Liberty County, and the cities of Albany and Columbus.
Gwinnett County’s State House Delegation held a town hall over the weekend. A dozen lawmakers called on voters to write and call Republican sponsors of dozens of election-reform bills, especially HB 531, an omnibus bill that seeks to dramatically overhaul Georgia’s election process. It would end Sunday voting and slash 108 hours of early voting
“Unfortunately, It seems as if Georgia Republicans are intent…on making it harder for citizens to vote,” Rep. Sam Parks said Saturday.
Here’s the schedule for this week’s town hall meetings:
Clayton County. State Rep. Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale), today at 6 p.m. To attend, click here. The password for the meeting is 485062.
DeKalb County. State Rep. Becky Evans (D-Atlanta) Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. To attend, click here.
Cobb County. State Rep. Erick Allen (D-Smyrna) Tuesday at 7 p.m. To attend, click here.
Fulton County. Tuesday at 7 p.m. To attend, click here.
Albany. State Rep CaMia Hopson (D-Albany) Wednesday at 7 p.m. To attend, click here.
Columbus. State Rep. Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus), Wednesday at 7 p.m. To attend, click here.
Liberty County. State Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) Thursday at 7 p.m. To attend, click here.
Douglas County. Saturday at 10 a.m. To attend, click here.
For specific location information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here is a breakdown of the key points of HB 531 by section:
Section 1 and 3: Bans election superintendents from accepting grants.
Section 2: Poll workers can work in adjoining counties.
Section 4: If wait time for voting exceeds an hour, officials must reduce the size of precincts or add more resources.
Section 5: Ends mobile voting except in emergencies.
Section 6: Less voting booths in non-general elections.
Section 7: Publish time and place of voting system testing.
Section 8: Reduces the time to request absentee ballots, changes ID requirements and prevents government entities from sending out absentee ballots.
Section 9: Changes locations and availability of ballot boxes.
Section 10: Cuts time counties have to send out ballots from 45 days to 25 days before an election.
Section 11: Puts sensitive information on absentee ballot envelopes. “It is enough information for a person to open a credit card,” Clark said.
Section 12: Cuts voting hours and eliminates Sunday voting.
Section 13: Changes information on absentee ballot envelopes.
Section 14: Poll watchers would have easy access to poll watch.
Section 15: Makes line warming illegal. In other words, providing bottled water or a bag of potato chips to a person waiting in line to vote would be illegal.
Section 16: All provisional ballots turned into the wrong precinct would be rejected.
Section 17: Creates Duplication panels for damaged ballots.
Section 18: Shortens the time for certifying for elections.
Section 19: Ends jungle primaries. A jungle primary is an election in which all candidates for elected office run in the same primary regardless of a political party.
Section 20: Standardizes times for registration.
Section 21: Changes law for when there is a vacancy.
Section 22: Makes observing a ballot while a voter is voting illegal.
You can view the Gwinnett County Voting Rights Town Hall here.