[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text dp_text_size=”size-4″]Poll workers would get no breaks until all absentee ballots are counted and anyone committing election fraud would face 10 to 25 years behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000, under a slate of new election-reform bills recently introduced.

Five more pieces of legislation are on the docket that would put further restrictions on Georgia voters and some election workers. The bills were introduced on Feb. 11, but many Senate Democrats were just learning about them on Tuesday due in part to the holiday weekend. This brings the total number of voter-suppression bills introduced this legislative session to 17.

The new bills are:

SB 141 - No break-in ballot-counting. This legislation would require poll workers to continue counting ballots with no breaks until all absentee ballots are counted.

SB 175 - Voter identification for mail voting. This legislation would require people to include a photocopy of a photo ID when voting by mail. It would also require people who registered by mail and had not yet voted in person to show a utility bill or other document with their address in the same manner as required for a first in-person vote.

SB 176 -  Increases penalties for election fraud. This legislation would increase penalties for election fraud to be felonies of 10 to 25 years with fines up to $100,000.

SB 177 - Restricts absentee voting. This bill would end no-excuse absentee/mail voting. Mail voting would be restricted to people who are: physically absent from their precinct during the election, performing official duties related to the election, physically disabled or caring for a disabled person, observing a religious holiday on election day, must work in a public health or safety job during the entire time polls are open, or are over the age of 65. Notes from a supervisor, a religious leader, or a doctor would be required.

SB 178 - Bans the Secretary of State from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications. This bill would ban the Secretary of State or local boards of elections from sending out unsolicited ballot applications unless getting approval from the Speaker and Lt. Governor.

In related news, four of eight voter suppression bills previously introduced will go to two ethic subcommittees Wednesday morning before heading to the full committee. The date for the full committee meeting has not been set yet. Those bills are SB 67, 71, 89 and 93.

(Photo By Tiffany Tertipes via Unsplash. A mail-in ballot next to a mask.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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