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Georgia Republican proposes eliminating poll drop containers forward of 2022 elections By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Staff of the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections course of ballots in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Brandon Bell/File Photograph

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By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A number one Georgia legislator has launched a invoice that might remove absentee poll drop containers, a well-liked and highly-used software final November that allowed voters to soundly solid ballots through the coronavirus pandemic.

Butch Miller, the No.2 Republican in Georgia’s Republican-controlled senate and a candidate for lieutenant governor within the 2022 elections, mentioned drop containers had been a “weak hyperlink” in guarding towards voter fraud, in line with a press release launched by his workplace.

Former President Donald Trump had criticized Miller, the Georgia Senate’s president professional tempore, for not doing extra to pursue his false voter fraud allegations and has mentioned he is not going to assist Miller’s bid for lieutenant governor.

Georgia will see two high-profile contests subsequent yr, when former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams probably takes on Republican Governor Brian Kemp in rematch of their 2018 battle. Kemp should first fend off a major problem from David Perdue, a Trump-backed former U.S. senator who has endorsed his false election fraud claims.

Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, the state’s first African-American senator, is up for re-election. The main Republican candidate is Herschel Walker, a former soccer star on the College of Georgia and within the NFL.

The southern state grew to become a flashpoint of baseless election conspiracy theories after President Joe Biden’s upset victory over Trump final November. Kemp and the state’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, have insisted no widespread fraud occurred.

Democrats narrowly gained two U.S. Senate races within the state that gave them majority management of that chamber. Warnock gained one in every of them in a particular run-off for the ultimate two years of a time period after Republican Johnny Isakson resigned for well being causes.

Earlier this yr, the Georgia legislature handed a voting reform measure that sharply restricted the variety of drop containers, disproportionately affecting Democratic-leaning, city counties with important Black populations that relied on the containers through the pandemic. The legislation additionally shortened the time for requesting an absentee poll.

The U.S. Justice Division sued the state in June, alleging that a number of provisions within the invoice had been adopted with the aim of suppressing the suitable to vote on account of race.

As well as, the final meeting handed a sequence of county-specific payments that handed higher management of native election boards to Republican county commissions, pushing out some outspoken Black advocates within the course of.

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