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BREAKING: Georgia Senate passes sweeping mail-in ballot reform bill

March 8, 2021

ATLANA — The Georgia Senate passed a sweeping election reform bill that would end the state’s no-excuse absentee voting.

Senate Bill 241 would make a sweeping number of changes to Georgia’s election code, most notably, cracking down on who is eligible to vote by mail.

Instead of allowing anyone to request and vote an absentee ballot, the bill would limit mail-in balloting to those over 65, are physically disabled, required to be outside of their voting precinct during the three-week in person early voting period and election day, have a religious holiday fall on election day, works in elections or is a military or overseas absentee voter.

Georgia’s No. 2 Republican, Lt. Gov. Duncan, said he does not support curbing mail-in balloting.

During debate over the SB 241, Duncan temporarily gave up his gavel and walked to his second-floor suite, telling the AJC that he refused to be the presiding officer over a measure he so adamantly opposed.

Duncan joins Stacey Abrams in opposing the absentee reform. Abrams has called SB 241 the “largest push to restrict voting rights since Jim Crow.”

SB 241 now headed to the House Elections Integrity Committee. All bills must pass both chambers by the end of this year’s legislative session on March 31 to have a chance of becoming law. Then Gov. Brian Kemp will decide whether sign or veto them.

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