“Where is the need for this bill coming from?” mentioned Debbie Buckner, a Democratic consultant from close to Columbus. “From the former president who wanted the election fixed and thrown out, even when Georgia leadership told him they couldn’t do it if they wanted to.”
Representative Zulma Lopez, who represents a majority-minority district on the outskirts of Atlanta, mentioned the invoice would have an outsize affect on voters of colour. In her district, she mentioned, the variety of drop packing containers could be diminished to 9 from 33. This was partly the outcome, she mentioned, of Democrats’ being excluded from discussions.
“Close to 2.5 million Democrats voted in the general election in 2020,” Ms. Lopez mentioned. “Yet Democrats in this House were left out of any meaningful input into the drafting of this bill.”
Democratic state senators sounded comparable alarms throughout a day debate.
“It is like a Christmas tree of goodies for voter suppression,” mentioned State Senator Jen Jordan, a Democrat from close to Atlanta. “And let’s be clear, some of the most dangerous provisions have to do with the takeover of the local elections boards.”
In an indication of the excessive tensions in Georgia, Mr. Kemp’s speech was abruptly minimize off after about 10 minutes. A Democratic state consultant, Park Cannon, had tried to attend the signing and remarks, however the doorways to the governor’s workplace had been closed.
After officers wouldn’t let her enter, Ms. Cannon evenly knocked on the door. Two officers instantly detained her, inserting in her handcuffs and escorting her by way of the State Capitol. Neither Ms. Cannon nor the governor’s workplace instantly responded to requests for remark.
Alan Powell, a Republican consultant from northeastern Georgia, defended the state’s invoice, saying it might deliver wanted uniformity to an electoral system that was pushed to the brink final yr.