State Senator Jeff Mullis, who represents several counties in Northwest Georgia -including the largest portion of Chattooga County – signed on to sponsor Senate Bill 241 this week.  The bill would severely limit who is eligible to vote by mail, require applications to be made under oath with additional ID requirements and require some ballots to have a witness signature and include a photocopy of ID to be counted.

Currently, Georgia is one of 34 states that does not require an excuse to vote by mail and one of 19 states that conducts signature verification of absentee applications. Only two states, Alabama and Arkansas, require photo ID to be submitted with the actual ballot.

Under this proposal, only voters who are required to be absent during in-person voting periods, work in elections, are disabled, are “required to remain on duty” at work when their workplace is a polling place, observe a religious holiday that conflicts with the election day or are older than 65 would be allowed to vote by mail. To apply for a ballot, you would have to list your reason and swear under oath everything is true or correct, plus add your driver’s license number or state ID number and date of birth.

All but three Republicans in the Georgia Senate supported the bill.  Senator Mullis said after the vote on Tuesday: Voters all across the state have reached out, urging members of the General Assembly to take action to address the issues they witnessed on and after the November election. These concerns deserve to be treated seriously and the Senate has already acted swiftly and passed numerus bills that directly impact several of the improprieties brought to our attention. SB 241 offers a comprehensive approach that addresses many of the key areas that citizens have requested we act on including absentee ballots, transparency in the tabulation process, streamlining the fraud reporting process, and more. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill and will do all I can to advance the bill through the legislative process.”

The next step for the bill will be the Senate Rules Committee, followed by a vote before the full Senate.  Senator Mullis is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.

You can read the full text of SB 241 here: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/6000

 

 GPB contributed to this report