Press Statement: The ACLU of Georgia Continues to See the Impact of S.B. 202 on Elections in Georgia
ATLANTA—Throughout Midterm Election voting, the priority of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLU of Georgia) has been the preservation of our democracy. While it should be easy for every eligible Georgian to vote, the experience for many voters shows that we are not there yet.
Senate Bill 202 (S.B. 202), which Gov. Kemp signed into law in 2021, greatly reduced the time voters have to request an absentee ballot and the time for elections officials to process and mail those ballots before an election. This provision, in addition to other provisions in S.B. 202, increases the hurdles voters face and the burdens on elections officials, making it harder for them to successfully carry out their duties.
The limitations placed on county elections officials were illustrated by Cobb County’s failure to process and mail out over 1,000 ballots that had been requested by the deadline. These voters would have been completely disenfranchised without emergency relief granted by a judge in a lawsuit we filed with ACLU National, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Dechert LLP on the Sunday before Election Day.
“We are deeply concerned about SB 202’s drastic changes to vote-by-mail, which contributed to an extreme reduction in votes cast by absentee ballots in this election,” said Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia executive director. “After record early-voter turnout, there glaring change in absentee voter participation, which was lower than what was seen in 2020 by about 1 million ballots.”
The ACLU of Georgia remains committed to protecting and enhancing the election system to ensure that all citizens may exercise their civic duty.