Is Georgia’s high early voter turnout because of new election law? Both sides weigh in

ATLANTA — Friday was the final day of early voting across Georgia, and so far, we haven’t seen any reports of chronic long lines or major voting issues.

Republicans say that’s because the new election integrity law is working, making it easier to vote.

Democrats say the law promotes voter suppression and the record turnout is a testament to people overcoming it.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot found Edmolya Darrell standing in the long line at a Tucker early voting location, but she wasn’t discouraged.

“It moved kind of fast. It wasn’t that long,” Darrell said.

Republicans insist voters can thank SB 202, the election integrity law, for that.

The law expanded early voting, adding Saturday and optional Sunday voting, and required counties to have absentee ballot drop boxes.

During the WSB-TV gubernatorial debate Sunday night, Gov. Brian Kemp defended it.


“In Georgia, it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat, and I’m committed to keeping it that way,” Kemp said.

But Democrats insist SB 202 is actually about voter suppression. It reduced days you can vote absentee, limits how many drop boxes each county can have and prohibits people from distributing food or water to voters in line.

During the debate, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said there’s high voter turnout because of their efforts.

“The fact that people are voting is in spite of SB 202, not because of it,” Abrams said.

Elliot asked Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint about the law.

Swint said there’s a lot in the 98 pages of the law – some good, some not so good. But he said both Republicans and Democrats are using it to push their own political agendas, whether it’s accusations of voter fraud or voter suppression.

“The bad part about that is voters, citizens, are sort of stuck in the middle trying to make sense of it, trying to sort it out, and it’s an emotional issue,” Swint said.

The law also allows the state elections board to take over problematic county elections, requires ID to request and send in absentee ballots and speeds up the counting process.


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