Georgia state GOP lawmaker introduces bill requiring two copies of ID to vote absentee
A Georgia Republican is introducing a bill requiring voters to send copies of their photo ID to election officials two times before being permitted to cast an absentee ballot.
The legislation would also implement a photo ID requirement for voters sending in absentee ballots from outside the state, requiring them to submit proof of identification when applying for the ballot and when returning it.
Acceptable forms of ID would include a photocopy of the voter’s driver’s license, voter ID card, U.S. passport, government employee ID, military ID card or tribal identification card.
The bill marks the opening salvo of what is expected to be a robust effort by Georgia Republicans to limit absentee voting after President Biden won the state over former President Trump and Democrats swept the Peach State’s two Senate seats in a pair of January runoffs.
While GOP allegations of voter fraud and irregularities have failed to stand up to scrutiny, Republican officials still tout the need to rein in absentee voting after its use was widespread in November and January during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly among Democrats.
Republicans made the Peach State a top target of the fraud claims, but the election results showing Biden defeating Trump by about 12,000 votes were certified at least three times.
Georgia state law already requires photo ID when registering to vote and voting in person.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, all Republicans, have backed implementing stricter voter ID laws. All three have been panned by Trump’s base for their refusal to block certification of the election results.
Republicans have long claimed that tough voter ID measures are necessary to tamp down on voter fraud, even though instances of such fraud are rare, but Democrats have said that such measures mostly inhibit voters of color and low-income voters from casting ballots.
“By requiring access to a printer, which many Georgians obviously do not have, Republicans are attempting to purposely take away the ability of many Georgians to vote by mail simply because they believe too many Democrats and too many people of color voted by mail,” Fair Fight spokesperson Seth Bringman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which first reported the bill’s introduction.