Georgia Passes Election Reform Bill in Wake of 2020 Disaster, but Is It Enough?

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Regardless of what one may believe about the existence and extent of election fraud, there’s no doubt that Georgia’s 2020 election was objectively a dumpster fire on a purely technical level. Some heavily blue counties didn’t get their counts in on time, causing lots of questions about the tabulation process as late reported results swung the state’s election to Joe Biden days later. There were also complaints about absentee ballots and how they were verified.

In the wake of that disaster, Georgia has moved to fix at least some of the problems.

The voter ID requirement for absentee ballots is a very welcome change, as are the new rules regarding counting before election day. This makes the Georgian system much more like Florida’s, and that’s a very good thing. You can bet the ID requirement will end up challenged in court, though such laws have been upheld in the past making any lawsuit an exercise in futility.

Other provisions here include forcing counties to report the number of outstanding ballots immediately and in their totality. That was an issue specifically with blue areas like Fulton County, where differing rumors of counts made their way into the press. Lastly, counties now only have 30 days to verify and enter their election results instead of 60 days.

The real question here is whether all this is enough. The voter ID changes are big, and they should alleviate some concerns with previous absentee ballots and signature verification. Tightening down the clamps on counties having secretive counts of ballots left and reporting well late is also going to make a difference.

Regardless, the one thing not covered here is the very concept of early voting in the first place. Early voting, in my opinion, is a scourge on our voting process. I believe it complicates the counting of votes, increases the time period within which fraud can occur, and allows votes to be cast before the public has all the information necessary to make an informed decision. What happens when a major story (such as the Hunter Biden revelations) breaks in the last few weeks before the election? We all know what happens. That is not how our republic should be choosing its political representatives.

Every Republican state should be leading the charge on further limiting early voting, not making it easier. Doing that would be the biggest thing that could be done to shore up our electoral process.