Georgia voting law is “step back” but still one of easier states to vote, elections expert says

ATLANTA — A national elections expert says Georgia’s new voting law is a “step back” from a system that had been a model for the rest of the country. But he added it also does some good things for Georgia voters.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke with Georgia’s secretary of state and the expert behind this new report.

David Becker is an elections expert with the Center for Election Innovation and Research, which just completed a survey on voting nationwide.

He said Georgia’s new voting law is a step back from what had been a model election in 2020.

“If most states held elections as secure and accessible as Georgia did in 2020, under their previous laws, the United States would be in pretty good shape,” Becker said.

[READ: Senate Bill 202 on Georgia General Assembly website]

Becker said the new law makes drop boxes less available, makes it harder to get absentee ballots, puts restrictions on provisional ballots and removed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as chair of the state elections board.

It’s a move Becker referred to as “petty.”

“So stated,” Raffensperger said.

[RELATED: Chairs of Republican, Democratic Parties debate the details of new voting law]

Elliot spoke with the Republican secretary of state to get his take on the report, which still categorizes Georgia as one of the easier states in which to vote.

Raffensperger believes the new voting law is a good thing.

“Shows that Georgia, after SB 202, is in the mainstream. That’s the big takeaway that people need to take hold of,” he said

Becker said the new law does have its good points, including expanding early voting and giving counties the options to include Sunday voting.

[RELATED: Over 100 CEOs, leaders gather to speak out against voting law changes]

But Democratic State Senator Jen Jordan, who is running for state attorney general, said if Georgia had such a good elections system, why change it with a new law.

“It took our election system to a place where it is the gold standard. So if you are starting with a system that’s really good, and it works, then why in the world are you going to pull back a lot of things that actually made it better,” Jordan said.

Becker said that Georgia voters need to remain vigilant to see what all happens with this new voting law, but he added that Georgia’s elections system remains pretty good.

[RELATED: Gov. Kemp defends signing voting law as opponents file federal lawsuit]