WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Republican-controlled Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 531 today, a bill that would rewrite the state’s election law and limit access to voting. Opposed by the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and voting rights advocates like Fair Fight Action, H.B. 531 would restrict the locations of ballot drop boxes, instate a new voter ID requirement for absentee voters, shorten the window for absentee ballot requests and returns, shorten runoff election times and more. The bill would also limit Sunday voting, a move that would particularly harm efforts such as “Souls to the Polls,” a get-out-the-vote initiative organized by Black churches to mobilize Black voters.
H.B. 531 advanced past the Georgia House Special Committee on Election Integrity last week. Protestors gathered outside the Georgia State Capitol over the last few days to oppose the bill, and Democrats made their opposition to H.B. 531 clear, with Rep. Carl Gilliard stating the legislation “rolls back the hands of time in reference to the level of voter suppression.”
The bill heads to the state Senate next, which is also considering two more restrictive voting bills this week.