SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The new election law that passed in the GOP-controlled Georgia legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25 stirred nationwide debate over voting rights, following the 2020 presidential election. Democrats and voting rights groups expressed concern that the new legislation would make it more difficult for marginalized communities to cast their ballots.
Within a few days, major corporations spoke out in opposition of the bill. Major League Baseball withdrew its All-Star Game out of Georgia after President Joe Biden supported the idea. In response, Republicans called for boycotts of pro baseball, cited “cancel culture,” and threatened tax hikes on companies criticizing the law such as Coca-Cola and Delta.
Some of the changes in the new law include expanding early voting in most Georgia counties, requiring a driver’s license or ID for mail-in voting, ending 24/7 access to drop boxes, shortening the time frame for requesting and returning mail ballots, banning food and drink distribution by non-poll workers to voters waiting in line, and moving election oversight from the Secretary of State to a chair nominated by the legislature, and more. So, we wanted to know, does this law help prevent fraud, or do they suppress the vote of marginalized communities?
Devin Wiser, Executive Director of the Olene Walker Institute of Politics at Weber State University joined ABC4’s Glen Mills on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion to break down the new Georgia voting laws. He explained why state legislators decided to change the law in the first place, even though the Georgia Board of Elections conducted three recounts for the 2020 presidential election to confirm the results were accurate.
Rep. Brian King (D-Salt Lake City) and Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross) joined the discussion to share their thoughts about the omnibus bill, what elements of the law they agreed and disagreed with, the charged response from the country to the new voting legislation, and whether Utah could pursue something similar to Georgia in the future.
To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Wiser, Rep. King, and Sen. Weiler, click on the video at the top of the article.
Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.