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WTVM Editorial 01/11/22: Election Law Facts

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 1:31 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The facts governing how we vote will change radically, if the US Senate passes a bill - already passed by the House - to allow Washington to make election rules, instead of the states, as outlined in the Constitution.

One reason given is Georgia’s Election Law, much criticized by opponents as designed to suppress the vote. But let’s look at the facts of Georgia’s Election Law.

As Founding Father John Adams said, “facts are stubborn things.”

The US Census said voter turnout in 2020 was 67% overall, up six points from 2016 and in Georgia, 64% of Black registered voters cast ballots in 2020, the most ever.

The Georgia law restores prior voter ID requirements, which were working quite nicely until the pandemic provided a reason to drastically loosen the rules.

Other stubborn facts about Georgia’s voting law include that it expands early-voting opportunities more than in many states and streamlines absentee-ballot procedures.

It makes sure mail-in voting is not a free for all, open to manipulation.

And Georgia’s absentee ballots rules are less strict than in many states.

For instance now, just a copy of your utility bill will do to prove your identity – pretty simple for anyone.

Georgia still allows ballot drop boxes but requires them to be limited in number and secured at early voting locations.

The Honest Elections Project says 65% of all voters support basic election safeguards like these.

And Black voter support for election security rose from 51 to 57% in 2021.

Those stubborn facts don’t show a need for the federal election bill which calls for vote harvesting and eliminating voter-ID laws altogether.

The most important fact of all is that every eligible voter needs to be able to vote.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper reported that only 2% or just 154,000 registered Georgia voters do not have a state ID number.

And of those, 93,000 have never voted in any election in Georgia, ever.

That leaves just 61,000 people who need help getting a photo or state ID in a universe of 5 million total Georgia voters.

So the fact is, there is not a tsunami of voter suppression and therefore no reason to hand state elections over to the bureaucrats in Washington.

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