Georgia Senate passes bill to nix no-excuse absentee voting

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Georgia State Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) shakes hands with Rules Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) after the passage of Senate Bill 241, which changes Georgia’s voting laws, Monday, March 8, 2021, at the State Capitol in Atlanta. Dugan presented the bill. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s state Senate has narrowly passed a Republican-backed bill that would end no-excuse absentee voting.

The bill passed 29-20 on Monday, the deadline that bills must generally pass out of one chamber to remain alive for the session.

Senate Bill 241 would limit absentee voting to people 65 and older, those with a disability and people who will be out of town on Election Day.

It would end broad no-excuse absentee voting introduced by the Republican-led legislature in 2005.

It would also require an ID for those who are able to vote absentee, among many other changes. Bills must get 29 votes in order to receive a majority in the 56-member Senate.

Gov. Brian Kemp, who formerly served as Georgia Secreteary of State, applauded the bill’s passage, releasing the following statement:

The unanimous passage of HB 479 by the Georgia House is an important step in our efforts to root out injustice in the Peach State, while also protecting the sacred right to defend oneself and others.

With broad, bipartisan support, our overhaul of the citizen’s arrest statute strikes a critical balance between protecting the lives and livelihoods of our families, our friends, and our neighbors, and preventing rogue vigilantism from threatening the security and God-given potential of all Georgians.

The bill heads now to the state House of Representatives where it is expected to pass.

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