The four bills, which passed by party-line votes out of two separate Senate Ethics Committee subcommittees, marked the first push by top Republican state lawmakers to move a slate of election bills focused on changes to absentee voting.
The most far-reaching measure would halt registered Georgia voters’ ability to vote by mail without providing a reason, ending a practice widely used in the 2020 election cycle by millions of voters wary of exposure to COVID-19 at in-person polling places.
Another bill that passed Wednesday seeks to boost voter ID requirements for requesting and casting absentee ballots, marking changes favored by top-ranking Georgia Republicans including Gov. Brian Kemp and House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.
Democrats have complained that the consideration of the bills began at 7:00 am and the hearings weren’t live-streamed. Republicans responded by saying that hearings aren’t usually live-streamed and that Democrats were fundraising off the legislation.