House Republicans in Georgia passed a bill late Tuesday that will further, they believe insulate Georgia against election fraud.
House Bill 1464 gives the Georgia Bureau of Investigation the ability to investigate election fraud without a specific invitation from other state or local officials. The bill also creates a detailed chain of custody requirement for ballot handling, and would allow for paper ballot inspections following an election.
The bill passed over the objections of Georgia House Democrats by a margin of 98-73. It will now head to the state Senate for further debate.
Though Georgia Republicans characterize the new legislation as a series of mostly minor changes, some Democrats believe the state GOP will not rest until the 2020 election is overturned.
“These are the consequences of what happens when members of this body allowed and continue to allow lies and conspiracy theories to go unchecked because instead of being honest about the security of our election system, this lie festered. And now it is uncontrollable,” Rep. Bee Nguyen (D), who is running for secretary of state, told the Associated Press.
Thee bill also makes it a felony to threaten violence against poll workers and election officials, reduces the number of voting machines at election-day polling locations to account for those who voted early, and requires employers to grant time off on election day for workers to vote.