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Voting Restrictions Bill Passes Georgia House Over Strong Opposition

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During a 2 1/2-hour debate in the Georgia House, state Rep. Kimberly Alexander said the bill would lead to voter suppression by creating hurdles to casting a ballot.

“Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly are trying to change the rules of the election here in Georgia, rules that you wrote, because you were handed defeat,” said Alexander, a Democrat from Hiram. “You know that your only chance of winning future elections is to prevent Georgians from having their votes counted and their voices heard.”

But Republican legislators said their proposals will build voters’ trust in elections after it was shaken by members of their own political party. Their policies would put new limits on absentee voting, used by a record 1.3 million Georgians in the presidential election, two-thirds of whom voted for Democrat Joe Biden.

Legislative Republicans who supported Trump’s claims have not contested the results of their own General Assembly elections.

“Our goal in this bill is to make sure that Georgia’s election results get back quickly and accurately,” said state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem. “The way we begin to restore confidence in our voting system is by passing this bill. There are many commonsense measures improving elections in this bill.”

Other backers of the bill said it would help prevent the possibility of fraud and create consistency across the state in voting access and funding.

Protesters waved signs and chanted “no voter suppression” at the Capitol on Monday, making their voices heard as legislators prepared to vote. A previous protest on Friday led to a confrontation when an officer grabbed Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon’s arm after she stood in front of an officer’s bullhorn.

“This bill is going against all the accessibility that makes voting possible by removing absentee and early voting hours,” said Regine Shabazz, an Atlanta resident protesting at Liberty Plaza outside the Capitol.

Limits on absentee voting will harm the poor and those without transportation to polling places, said Melissa McCollum of Gainesville who was in the group of protesters.

“We have prov… (Read more)

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