Georgia bill would require time off during early voting

State Sen. Rick Williams, R-Milledgeville, spent nearly two decades leading elections for Baldwin County and he hopes a bill he filed this year will help more Georgians get to the polls.

Under current Georgia law, companies must work with their employees to give them up to two hours to vote on Election Day, unless the employee's hours begin at least two hours after the polls open or end two hours before the polls close. 

Sen. Williams' bill would strike that scheduling language and extend the requirement to the 21 days of early voting as well.

"Hopefully this will help get people more likely to go vote," explained Sen. Williams. "You know, we look at some of the runoffs and the turnout is so low and hopefully this will help the turnout to get people to go and exercise that right."

In recent years, more and more organizations have started sending absentee ballot applications to Georgia voters.  Williams' legislation would also require those groups to clearly identify themselves and include the words "THIS IS NOT A BALLOT" on those applications.

"During the past few elections people have received absentee ballot applications.  They got confused and they were telling everyone, 'I got three ballots in the mail,'" Sen. Williams said.

The House approved the bill with some additions on Thursday.  The legislation must now head back to the Senate for review.