Georgia Republicans advance sweeping new restrictions on voting – live

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, approved significant new restrictions on voting on Monday, the latest move in a series of measures across the country to curtail access to the ballot.

The Iowa measure shortens the early voting period in the state from 29 days to 20 and requires polls to close at 8pm instead of 9, according to the Des Moines Register. It also prohibits local election officials from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot request forms and sets new limits on how they can set up early voting sites and drop boxes. Voters also can no longer designate anyone else to return their ballot for them – only an immediate family member, household member, or caregiver may do so, the Register reported.

The bill also makes it a felony offense for local election officials to fail to follow election laws and directives from the secretary of state.

Several provisions of the bill appear to be a reaction to the 2020 race, when the local auditor in Linn county, home of Cedar Rapids, sent out pre-filled absentee ballot requests to voters and was sued by Republicans. Iowa’s secretary of state in August also issued guidance limiting the use of ballot drop boxes.

Iowa set record turnout in 2020, and the vast majority of people voted by mail. Of the nearly 1.7 million people who voted in the state, more than 1 million did so using a mail-in ballot. Donald Trump handily won the state over Joe Biden by more than 138,000 votes.

Democrats won an election. Georgia Republicans are pushing for new limits on voting.

The Georgia state senate approved its own version of a bill that would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting in the state, among other restrictions. The bill passed 29-20, a one vote majority.

Greg Bluestein

The Georgia Senate just passed a sweeping elections measure that would severely limit who could vote by mail, a response to Democratic victories in November and January that critics say amounts to voter suppression. It passed with 29 votes — the bare majority. #gapol

March 8, 2021

In addition to requiring an excuse, the senate bill would require voters to show identification information when they vote by mail. The bill will now advance to the Georgia house of representatives, which approved a bill with similar restrictions, but that left no-excuse absentee voting in place. That bill included new limits on ballot drop boxes.

Top Republicans in the state have advocated keeping no excuse absentee voting in place and it’s unclear what a final version of the bill will actually look like.

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