A new report from the Center for Election Innovation & Research places Georgia in the top tier of states when it comes to ease of early voting, although the state is more restrictive than others by some metrics.
Over the past several weeks, various groups blasted Georgia’s new election law, S.B. 202, saying it would limit access to the polls, especially for minorities. But Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger touts the new report.
“People need to stand up and take notice, this is a bipartisan nonpartisan viewpoint of where Georgia is with elections,” he said.
Requiring voter ID on absentee ballots
The voter ID requirement on absentee ballots was established to replace signature matching. Raffensperger says Georgia has been sued by both Democrats and Republicans over its signature matching requirements and says switching to voter ID is a “very verifiable, objective” measure.
99.9% of Georgia voters have a driver’s license, free state voter ID, or Social Security number, while the 9,000 who don’t are allowed to present a bank statement, utility bill, or other ID as detailed in the Help America Vote Act, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Comparing Georgia and Colorado
Notably, the CEIR report places Georgia and Colorado in the same tier. This comes shortly after Major League Baseball said it was moving its all-star game from Atlanta to Denver in retaliation against Georgia’s voting restrictions.
But [CEIR President David] Becker says Colorado far outpaces Georgia on a number of other voter access issues — including sending ballots to every voter without requiring them to send a request.
But Raffensperger says every state is different, and an election method used in one state doesn’t necessarily work in others. Georgia voters, he says, prefer to vote in person. Before the pandemic, only around 6% of voters chose to vote absentee. Last year that number spiked to 20% to 25% due to COVID, but he expects the numbers to decline again in future elections.