Georgia Republicans are looking to increase mail-in ballot requirements after certifying the state’s 2020 election results in favor of Joe Biden despite protests from President Trump (https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-georgia-voting-rights-26d1be9cd9dc5c1b308609781fe78a18). Biden won the state by about 12,500 votes, but Trump has been trying since November to prove voter fraud in Georgia, opening several cases against specific counties and state officials. Biden received twice as many mail-in ballots as Trump, raising cause for concern about potential fraud or ballot harvesting. A recount is currently in progress, but many suspect it will not change the overall outcome.
One of the primary proposals for mail-in ballots is a voter ID requirement. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said, “Voters casting their ballots in person must show a photo ID, and we should consider applying that same standard to mail-in balloting.” Both Gov. Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have denied any instances of fraud or systemic errors, but still want to prevent any future doubt on the state’s election process moving forward. Sec. of State Raffensperger also suggested adding a measure allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have shown problems with administering elections.
Democrats have been critical of this measure, arguing that it would lead to greater voter disenfranchisement. ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrew Young said, “What is the problem that you’re trying to solve? The rule should be first, ‘Do no harm’ when it comes to democracy, and whenever there are more restrictions being put on a process, you run the risk of disenfranchising Georgia citizens.” She claims that absentee voter ID requirements would limit African-Americans, younger voters, and the elderly. She especially is concerned that this will have a greater effect on Democratic voters.
2020 saw a significant increase in absentee voting, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Will absentee voting continue moving forward, and if so should voter ID be required in other states to help limit opportunities for voter fraud?
Image Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP