East Cobb Republicans vote for Ga. elections overhaul bill

East Cobb Republicans vote for Ga. elections overhaul bill”

The law replaces the elected secretary of state as the chair of the state election board with a new appointee of the legislature after Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rebuffed Trump's attempts to overturn Georgia's election results.

State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, is put into the back of a Georgia State Capitol patrol vehicle after being arrested by state troopers at the Capitol on Thursday after she tried to knock on the door of Gov. Brian Kemp's office after he signed a sweeping Republican-sponsored overhaul of state elections.

The new law is already facing legal challenges, as voting rights groups filed a lawsuit just hours after Kemp signed the bill into law. "Lies upon lies were told about our elections in response, and now this bill is before us built on those same lies". This comes as the GOP prepares to take back the Senate in the 2022 midterms with Republicans eyeing Georgia as a key battleground state. Republicans supported it, with Democrats opposed. He said the reforms will ensure secure, accessible and fair elections.

Several demonstrators rallied at the state capitol as he signed the new legislation in a closed-door session.

Police said that, shortly after 6:30 p.m., Cannon was seen "beating on the door" to the governor's office inside the statehouse - though available video of the incident showed Cannon knocking on the door normally. She says "where are you taking me?" and "stop" as she is taken from the building. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, said in a statement.

The Republican changes to voting law in Georgia follows record-breaking turnout that led to Democratic victories in the presidential contest and two U.S. Senate runoffs in the once reliably red state.

Voter reform or voter suppression?

Gov. Phil Murphy has urged the implementation of early voting, saying in his January State of the State address that "Regardless of your party affiliation, your vote is your voice and this country is better off when more of us are heard".

The newly signed law, among other restrictions, imposes identification requirements for mail ballots and makes it a crime for third-party groups to hand out food and water to voters standing in line.

More news: North Korea, immigration, re-election top agenda at Biden's first White House presser

Republicans cast the measure, dubbed The Election Integrity Act of 2021, as necessary to boost confidence in elections after the 2020 election saw Trump make repeated, unsubstantiated claims of fraud.

It expands early voting access in most counties.

A previous version of the bill that curbed weekend voting prompted an outcry, with Democrats arguing it targeted the Sunday voting drives held by black churches.

It also would allow state officials to take over county election boards for poor performance.

The bill passed 28-8 in the state Senate on Thursday and 58-11 with one abstention in the Assembly earlier this month.

It shortens the period for runoff elections.

Early voting under the bill would begin 10 days before November general elections, six days before presidential primaries and four days before non-presidential primaries.

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who previously served as minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, came under fire after the state's 2018 gubernatorial race for refusing to concede her loss against Kemp.

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