A Breakdown Of Georgia's New 'Election Integrity' Law

Georgia's "Election Integrity Act of 2021" changes voter ID requirements, absentee ballots, early voting, the State Election Board, and more.
Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 06, 2021

Criticism has swirled around Georgia since Republicans passed the "Election Integrity Act of 2021" on March 25. 

So what does the new law include?

At nearly 100 pages long, it strengthens voter ID laws, changes early voting rules, and gives the state legislature more control over elections. 

The earliest a Georgia voter can request an absentee ballot under the new law is now 78 days before the election, down from the old system of 180 days. And voters will need to include their driver's license number and a photocopy of their license or a state-approved ID when they request a mail-in ballot. 

All counties are required to put out at least one ballot drop box though the law adds a limit on the total number of drop boxes that can be used. The boxes must also be under constant surveillance by an election official, law enforcement or a security guard. 

Early in-person voting will start the fourth Monday before an election, with locations open from at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Counties also must offer it on the second and third Saturday before an election. Sunday early in-person voting hours are a county option.

The law bans people from handing out food or water to voters as they wait in line, a past practice some viewed as a violation of electioneering laws.

It also gives the state legislature control over who leads the State Election Board, a position previously held by the Secretary of State automatically.

For ballot counting, elections officials will be allowed to start processing absentee ballots two weeks before Election Day. And the certified results are due by 5 p.m. the Monday after the election.