Georgia election law gets first test today

Many provisions of Senate Bill 202 will be used in special election runoffs in Georgia on April 13. (FILE PHOTO Dreamstime/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Many provisions of Senate Bill 202 will be used in special election runoffs in Georgia on April 13. (FILE PHOTO Dreamstime/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Georgia’s new election law won’t get a full workout until local elections are held later this year.

But a few provisions are already in effect for some special election runoffs to be held Tuesday. One example: Whitfield County residents will elect a new county commissioner.

Many key provisions of Senate Bill 202 will not take effect until July 1. Here’s a look at some of the provisions that will and won’t be in effect for today’s elections.

In effect

Ballot drop boxes: SB 202 requires local election officials to establish at least one drop box for absentee ballots. The drop boxes must be closed when advanced voting ends.

Ban on providing food and drink: The law prohibits the distribution of food or drink to voters in line, though it allows election workers to establish self-service water from an unattended receptacle.

Ban on out-of-precinct voting: SB 202 prohibits counting provisional ballots cast by people outside their normal precinct unless they cast the ballot after 5 p.m. on election day.

Continuous counting: The law requires election officials to continue counting until the tally is completed.

Not in effect

Absentee ballot ID requirements: SB 202 requires people casting absentee ballots to provide a driver’s license number, a state ID number or other documentation, rather than a signature, to verify their identity.

Early processing of absentee ballots: The law allows counties to begin processing – but not counting – absentee ballots more than two weeks before an election.

Early in-person voting: The law establishes a new schedule for early in-person voting. It expands weekend voting for general elections in many counties, while reducing early voting for runoff elections.

More information: You can find more information about the effects of SB 202 at www.ajc.com/politics/georgia-state-legislature/voting-bills/.