September 18, 2021


True Conservative Viewpoints

Why Does Georgia Get No Credit for No-Excuse Absentee Voting That Other States Don’t Allow?

Voters in Sutton, N.H., on Election Day in 2016 (Ryan McBride/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2005, Republicans in Georgia’s state legislature enacted no-excuse absentee voting under state law, in the face of objections from Georgia’s Democrats, who contended voting by that method would “open the door wide to opportunities for voter fraud.”

Until the new election-reform law that was signed into law last week, Georgians could request an absentee ballot up to 180 days before an election; under the new law, that time period is reduced to 78 days. Anyone requesting an absentee ballot must “provide his or her name, date of birth, address as registered, address where the elector wishes the ballot to be mailed, and the number of his or her Georgia driver’s license or identification card issued.” The new law bars the secretary of state, election superintendent, board of registrars, or other government or elections officials from sending absentee-ballot applications directly to any voters who do not request one.

You may support or object to those new provisions. But it remains the case that Georgia is still a state where it is relatively easy to vote absentee. Georgia law still states, “An elector who votes by absentee ballot shall not be required to provide a reason in order to cast an absentee ballot in any primary, election, or runoff.”

Georgia is one of the 34 states that, as of last year, do not require an excuse from those who wish to vote absentee or by mail; five states conduct elections entirely by mail. Sixteen states do not have no-excuse absentee voting: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia.

It is not hard to find baseball fans contending the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game should be moved to Yankee Stadium, Citi Field in New York City, Fenway Park in Boston, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, or Minute Maid Park in Houston. If the MLB chose any of those stadiums, it would, in the name of standing up for voting rights, move the game from a state that allows no-excuse absentee voting to a state that does not allow no-excuse absentee ballot voting.

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