Georgia voting bill: Key details of the election bill passed by the Legislature

03/25/2021 —Atlanta, Georgia —Georgia Speaker of the House Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) makes remarks after SB 202 passed the House Chambers on day 38 of the legislative session at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. SB 202 passed the House Chambers. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
03/25/2021 —Atlanta, Georgia —Georgia Speaker of the House Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) makes remarks after SB 202 passed the House Chambers on day 38 of the legislative session at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. SB 202 passed the House Chambers. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Providing the facts and context that help readers understand the current debate over voting laws is a priority for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Here is a summary of Senate Bill 202, approved quickly on March 25 by the Georgia House and Senate and then signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp shortly before 7 p.m. the same day.

  • Absentee ballots would be verified based on driver’s license numbers or other documentation instead of voter signatures.
  • Ballot drop boxes would only be allowed inside early voting locations and available strictly during business hours.
  • Weekend voting would be expanded for general elections, with two mandatory Saturdays offered statewide. Counties could also choose to offer early voting on two optional Sundays.
  • Early voting for runoffs would be reduced to a minimum of one week because runoffs would occur four weeks after general elections.
  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot would be set 11 days before election day.
  • Members of the public would be prohibited from distributing food or water to voters waiting in line.
  • The State Election Board could remove county election boards and replace them with an interim elections manager.
  • A hotline to report illegal election activities would be set up in the attorney general’s office.
  • Counties would be required to certify election results within six days, instead of the 10 days currently allowed. Election workers would also be required to count ballots without stopping until they’re finished.

Photos: Sweeping Georgia voting law signed amid protests

Use the AJC Bill Tracker to follow updates on other key bills the AJC is watching in the Georgia Legislature

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Providing the facts and context that help readers understand the current debate over voting laws is a priority for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For a better understanding of the issues that drove Legislative action and the fallout afterward, click on these links.

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