Early Voters in Georgia Face Obstacles Under State’s New Election Law

An increasing number of early voters in the Georgia midterm election have faced challenges during the early voting period due to the state’s new election law. Following the passage of the Election Integrity Act, Georgia citizens can challenge a voter’s eligibility on the state’s voting rolls an unlimited number of times. While many of these challenges have been dismissed, most voters do not know why their eligibility to cast a ballot has been challenged, leading to a sense of confusion across the electorate. After being told her vote was challenged, Jennifer Jones, a Morehouse School of Medicine PhD student, said, “the poll worker didn’t tell me why I was being challenged, even after calling someone else for assistance. They kept telling me I would have to vote with a provisional ballot.” Helen Butler, the executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, a group working to increase voter access, says that the new law, “creates a problem and creates distrust and is ultimately trying to limit who has access to the ballot.” While the overall effect of the new voting legislation remains to be seen, concern is growing over the potential for voter disenfranchisement and a decrease in voter turnout for the midterm elections.

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