MI voters demonstrated they want our elections to be accessible in 2018 when they enshrined new voting rights in our state constitution, and again in 2020 when millions exercised those new rights.
Third-party absentee ballot applications must be more clearly labeled, state and local governments would not be allowed to send unsolicited applications.
Both measures would keep the 2005 no-excuse absentee law that allows Georgians to vote by mail without having to provide a reason after earlier versions of election bills proposed requiring a reason, such as overseas travel. Led by then-President Donald Trump, elected Republican officials began to disingenuously cry foul about new voting laws that were passed in anticipation of an unusual election season: due to COVID-19 and higher expected voter turnout, many states around the country implemented laws that would make it easier for people to vote without exposing themselves to the virus or waiting in extremely long lines.
Democrats have their own voting rights bill proceeding through Congress, hoping to defend voter access on a national level.
Voters who show up to the wrong precinct would not have provisional ballots counted, unless it was after 5:00 p.m. and they signed a statement they could not make it to the correct poll.
The bill would also shorten Georgia's nine-week runoff period to four weeks by sending military and overseas voters instant-runoff ranked choice absentee ballots and only requiring in-person early voting starting the Monday eight days before election day.
A performance review of local elections officials could be initiated by the county commission or a certain threshold of General Assembly members.
Earlier in the news conference, Biden said the filibuster was being "abused in a enormous way" and suggested he "strongly" supports moving back to the original process of the filibuster, which would require a senator who wants to block legislation to hold the floor without taking a break.
"We have heard testimony from county election officials. that more time is needed to fully understand the fiscal and logistical impacts the provisions in these bills would have", she said.
"This is the first time we've been able to, since the Johnson administration and maybe even before that, to begin to change the paradigm", Biden said earlier in March, as he celebrated the newly passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The 39-bill package would let 16- and 17-year-olds preregister to vote, create an "early voting" day 10 days before Election Day, require training of partisan election challengers, and mandate video monitoring of all ballot drop boxes. Ballots used in the election would have to be on special security paper, which will cost more to use.
With Republicans holding 50 seats in the Senate, the 60-vote threshold to move forward with most legislation may make it hard for Biden to achieve key legislative objectives. For instance, Sunday voting might better suit Fulton County, where more than 528,000 residents cast ballots in the November 3 general election, compared to much smaller counties with less demand for weekend voting.
The 20-candidate special election to fill the remainder of Sen. Kelly Loeffler and current Sen.
One item I saw this last election cycle was private groups funding and establishing vote drop boxes.
The bill now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature.