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How Georgia's controversial new voting law compares with other states

Absentee voting

The new Georgia law reduces the time available for absentee voting, requiring residents to request an absentee ballot up to 78 days before an election instead of 180 days.

The final deadline to request an absentee ballot is 11 days before an election, which is earlier than in the past, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.

It also prohibits officials from sending absentee ballots without request, according to FactCheck.org. Some states will automatically mail an absentee ballot to every voter.

Requesting an absentee ballot in Georgia will also require a driver’s license number, state ID number or acceptable voter ID under the law.

In over 34 states, any voter may request an absentee ballot without excuse, though one-third of the states require a reason for voting absentee. However, no excuse or justification is needed to vote absentee in Georgia, so any voter can receive a mail-in ballot.

The new law requires that all 159 counties have at least one dropbox for mail-in ballots but caps the number of boxes at one per 100,000 active voters or one for every early voting site. Additionally, the law moves the drop boxes inside the polling locations so that they are only accessible during early voting days and hours, rather than being available 24/7. 

A report released this month from the Center for Election Innovation & Research placed Georgia in its top tier of states regarding the ease of early voting even though the report found that Georgia’s law is more restrictive in some other areas. 

Georgia ranked in a higher tier than at least 14 other states, including New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, South Carolina and Delaware. 

However, the center noted that “Delaware and New York are on track to pass constitutional amendments removing their absentee excuse requirements before the 2022 general election.”

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