The legislation would change the rules and processes for requesting an absentee ballot, including requiring voters to present valid forms of photo identification. It would also limit drop boxes and the early voting period for runoffs.
The state would also be allowed to take over county elections or remove local elections officials if there was a determined need to intervene.
Further, it would prevent food and beverages from being provided by outside groups to voters waiting in line to cast their ballots.
The bill passed along party lines in both chambers of the state legislature.
Democratic Rep. Rhonda Burnough charged that the legislation was triggered by Republican-circulated lies regarding last November’s election cycle, as reported by The Associated Press.
“Georgians turned out in record-breaking numbers because they could access the ballot,” Burnough said. “Lies upon lies were told about our elections in response, and now this bill is before us built on those same lies.”
Georgia was one of the key states that the Trump campaign focused on as it honed in on unfounded claims of voter fraud during and after the 2020 presidential election. Biden narrowly won Georgia by roughly 12,000 votes.
During his first press conference on Thursday, Biden blasted what appear to be attempts to restrict voting access as “un-American” not just in Georgia, but in several states across the U.S.
“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick,” Biden said. “This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. I mean, this is gigantic what they’re trying to do and it cannot be sustained.”
Biden answered in the affirmative when asked if there was more he could do than simply pass voting rights legislation to stop these initiatives, though he declined to go into detail.
Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992. Democrats also won both Senate runoff elections that took place at the beginning of this year, which were crucial victories, since they gave the party a majority in the chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.