Georgia voting law: Governor responds to critics' attacks

In an opinion piece for Fox News on Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp retaliated against critics of SB 202, which Kemp made legal in Georgia with his signature on March 25

The text of the bill states its purpose is to address a perceived loss in confidence after the 2018 and 2020 elections, and Kemp has maintained statements by President Joe Biden and other opponents that compare the reforms to Jim Crow laws were insincere. 

Kemp's piece provided some bullet points about specific details in SB 202 that are subject to criticism in the days since the bill became law. 

Kemp wrote SB 202 protects polling locations from electioneering by private individuals. The text of the bill states no person may solicit votes, nor shall they give food or drink, to an elector within 150 feet of a polling location or within 25 feet of someone standing in line at a polling location. Kemp wrote this passage pertains solely to private individuals and election officials may provide water at unattended stations, as the bill states. 

This particular section of the law has sparked controversy since long lines during the 2020 primary in Georgia generated concerns leading up to the 2020 general election

Kemp also wrote the law makes ballot drop boxes mandatory in every county in Georgia. Ballot drop boxes were first created by the State Election Board as a pandemic response. The new law now makes those drop boxes a permanent measure, but also limits the number to the lessor of one for every 100,000 active registered voters or one for each voting precinct in the county. 


While Kemp said the measure ensures drop boxes are secured "around the clock," local leaders have said access to drop boxes is unnecessarily limited to early voting hours and the number is limited without evidence of fraudulent activity. 

Kemp wrote the law expands early voting days statewide in Georgia by mandating two Saturday voting days and two optional Sunday voting days in each county.

The bill does, however, provide limitations on the use of buses and other moveable facilities, which Fulton County launched in 2020.

Kemp wrote the law's new state ID requirement for absentee ballot requests eliminates the need for signature match verification. Officials have said the photo ID requirement removes some subjectivity from the process.

Kemp has been in quarantine since Monday after coming in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. 

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