FACE OF A POLITICS
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at corporate United States on April 5, 2020, warning CEOs to stay out of the debate over a new voting law in Georgia that has been criticized as restricting votes among minorities and the poor.
A Reuters report said:
In a sign of a growing rift in the decades-old alliance between the conservative party and U.S. corporations, McConnell said: “My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don’t pick sides in these big fights.”
McConnell warned companies there could be risks for turning on the party, but he did not elaborate.
“Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order,” McConnell told a news conference in his home state of Kentucky.
Big business ties with Republicans began fraying under former President Donald Trump’s leadership and the party’s focus on voting restrictions has soured businesses embracing diversity as key to their work force and customer base.
The report said:
Major Georgia employers Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines have spoken out against the law signed by Governor Brian Kemp, and Major League Baseball pulled the 2021 All-Star Game out of the state over the law strengthening identification requirements for absentee ballots and making it a crime to offer food or water to voters waiting in line.
“I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” McConnell said.
The Georgia law brought a backlash from some U.S. companies with strong ties to the state.
Coca-Cola Co Chief Executive James Quincey called the law “unacceptable” and a “step backwards.”
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said: “The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election.”
Corporate America has long thrown its political muscle behind Republican candidates and office-holders, often funneling more campaign contributions to conservative candidates than Democratic ones.
Georgia’s new election law
The rewrite of Georgia’s election rules represents the first big set of changes since former President Trump’s repeated his claims of election fraud.
An Atlanta, March 27, 2021 datelined AP news explainer (What does Georgia’s new GOP election law do?, by Ben Nadler and Jeff Amy,) said:
Georgia has been at the center of that storm. The 98-page measure that was signed into law Thursday (March 25, 2021) by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp makes numerous changes to how elections will be administered, including a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail.
Republican supporters say the law is needed to restore confidence in Georgia’s elections. Democrats say it will restrict voting access, especially for voters of color.
The explainer said:
Much of the work administering elections in Georgia is handled by the state’s 159 counties. The law gives the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. That has led to concerns that the Republican-controlled state board could exert more influence over the administration of elections, including the certification of county results.
One target for intervention could be Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold that contains most of Atlanta. The heavily populated county has been plagued by problems, including long lines, and it is often singled out by Republican officials. Under the law, the board could intervene in up to four counties at a time and install a temporary superintendent with the ability to hire and fire personnel including elections directors and poll officers.
The new law makes it a misdemeanor to hand out “any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink” to anyone standing in line to vote. The prohibition extends 150 feet from a polling place and 25 feet from any person standing in line.
Advocates of the law say they are attempting to crack down on political organizations or advocacy groups trying to influence voters just before they cast a ballot. Critics say it’s cruel and would penalize even nonpartisan groups or individuals for something as simple as giving water to someone waiting in a long line. Democratic state Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler slammed the proposal Thursday before the bill was signed into law, saying: “They want to make it a crime to bring Grandma some water while she’s waiting in line.”
Polling places would be able to, but not required to, set up self-serve water dispensers for voters.
The explainer said:
Republicans had proposed at one time to limit early voting on weekends, a time when many Black churches conduct “souls to the polls” efforts to take congregants to vote. But Republicans reversed themselves, and the measure now expands weekend early voting. Previously, one day of weekend voting was required, with counties given the option of offering more. Now two Saturdays will be required, and counties can offer two Sunday voting days as well. Republicans point to this provision to argue they are actually expanding, rather than restricting, voting access.
“Contrary to the hyper-partisan rhetoric you may have heard inside and outside this gold dome, the facts are that this new law will expand voting access in the Peach State,” Kemp said Thursday.
Georgia is the only state in the nation that mandates runoff elections between the top two finishers following general elections in which no candidate achieves a majority. Like some other states, Georgia also mandates runoffs for candidates who do not win a majority in a party primary.
The system came under scrutiny from Republicans after Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won twin runoffs in January.
The new law shortens the time for runoffs from nine weeks to four, with lawmakers saying the current span is “exhausting” and needs to be shortened to a “more manageable period.”
Military and overseas voters will use ranked-choice absentee ballots to rank all possible candidates before a primary or general election, allowing their preferences to be determined in any possible runoff. Georgia only had three weeks before runoffs until 2013, when a federal judge ordered a longer gap to give military and overseas voters more time to return ballots.
The shorter period means less time for early and mail voting. Early voting had lasted three weeks before runoffs. Now early voting would begin “as soon as possible” but no later than the second Monday before the election, possibly leaving as little as five weekdays and no weekend days of early voting. Voters would also have less time to apply for a mail ballot.
No new voters could be registered in the period before a runoff because the registration deadline would be the day before the earlier election.
The AP explainer added:
Three groups filed a lawsuit late Thursday to try to block the law. The New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter and Rise Inc. say the law violates the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as parts of the federal Voting Rights Act that say states cannot restrict Black voter participation.
“These unjustified measures will individually and cumulatively operate to impose unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote, to deny or abridge the voting rights of Black Georgians, and to deny Black voters in Georgia an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process and elect candidates of their choice,” says the lawsuit, which is filed against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia’s State Elections Board.
Opponents are also looking to Congress, which is considering nationwide voting standards. A Democratic-backed measure passed the House earlier this month, but faces opposition from Senate Republicans wary of a federal takeover of state elections.
The federal proposal would create automatic voter registration nationwide, allow former felons to vote, and limit the ways states can remove registered voters from their rolls. It would expand voting by mail, promote early voting and give states money to track absentee ballots.
Easier or harder?
A report by The New York Times (“Georgia’s Election Law, and Why Turnout Isn’t Easy to Turn Off”, by Nate Cohn, April 3, 2021) said:
There’s a real — and bipartisan — misunderstanding about whether making it easier or harder to vote, especially by mail, has a significant effect on turnout or electoral outcomes. The evidence suggests it does not.
The fight over the new Georgia election law is only the latest example. That law, passed last week, has been condemned by Democrats as voter suppression, or even as tantamount to Jim Crow.
Democrats are understandably concerned about a provision that empowers the Republican-controlled State Legislature to play a larger role in election administration. That provision has uncertain but potentially substantial effects, depending on what the Legislature might do in the future. And it is possible the law is intended to do exactly what progressives fear: reshape the electorate to the advantage of Republicans, soon after an electoral defeat, by making it harder to vote.
And yet the law’s voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances. It could plausibly even increase turnout. In the final account, it will probably be hard to say whether it had any effect on turnout at all.
It detailed the law:
The full text of the Georgia bill is here, but the bill’s major effects can be boiled down to a few points:
- The law makes absentee voting harder. People must have a qualifying form of identification to vote by mail. The law also makes it harder to request and return an absentee ballot, restricting the period when people can apply for one and limiting the number of drop boxes where voters can return such a ballot in person.
- On balance, it might make in-person voting easier, especially in the general election (though it contains provisions that cut in both directions).
The law expands the number of required days of early voting, including on the weekend days that progressives covet (two Saturdays are now required instead of one). There is also a provision that requires large precincts with long lines to add machines, add staff or split the precinct. Depending on how this is rolled out, it could be a big win for voters in Georgia’s urban areas, who have dealt with some of the longest lines in the country.
Cutting in the other direction is the gratuitous and probably ineffectual limitation on handing out food and water to people standing in line to vote. Of more concrete but still limited importance is a rule that makes it harder for people to cast a provisional ballot if they show up at the wrong precinct. (It is worth noting that many states do not count these ballots at all, and there were only around 10,000 total provisional ballots in Georgia in the last election, including those cast in the right precinct.)
- It shortens the runoff period. Runoffs would be held four weeks after an initial election, instead of the nine weeks that had been in place for federal elections in the last few years. A main consequence would be to shorten early runoff voting to one week, instead of three, plausibly affecting turnout in exactly the kind of close, low-turnout race where it could easily be decisive.
- It empowers the State Legislature to play a larger role in election administration. It removes the secretary of state as chair of the state board of elections and allows the Legislature to appoint a majority of the board’s members, including the chair. And it empowers the state board to take over county boards of elections, if the circumstances merit it.
These might prove to be very important. But for the purposes of this article, we are not considering them “voter suppression” provisions. They do not inherently make it harder for people to vote by restricting whether or how they can vote.
The report said:
If we leave aside the administrative provisions and the question of intent, the core question on voter suppression is to what extent does reducing voting options — like early voting in the runoffs or mail voting in general — reduce turnout and Democratic chances?
For decades, reformers have assumed that the way to increase turnout is to make voting easier.
Yet surprisingly, expanding voting options to make it more convenient has not seemed to have a huge effect on turnout or electoral outcomes. That is the finding of decades of political science research on advance, early and absentee voting. One prominent study even found that early voting decreases turnout, though that is a bit of an outlier.
There is essentially no evidence that the vast expansion of no-excuse absentee mail voting, in which anyone can apply for a mail absentee ballot, had any discernible effect on turnout in 2020. That should not be a huge surprise: Even universal vote by mail, in which every registered voter is automatically sent a mail ballot (as opposed to every voter having an opportunity to apply for one), increases turnout by only about 2 percent with no discernible partisan advantage.
Believe it or not, turnout increased just as much in the states that didn’t have no-excuse absentee voting as it did in the states that added it for the first time. Similarly, Joe Biden improved over Hillary Clinton’s performance by three percentage points in the states that added it, compared with 2.9 points in the states that did not.
The report cited a study:
A more rigorous study by political scientists at Stanford found that no-excuse mail voting might have increased turnout by a whopping 0.02 percent in the 2020 election. The study used a novel approach: The researchers compared the turnout among 65-year-olds in Texas, who were eligible to vote by mail without an excuse, with 64-year-olds in Texas, who were not. The turnout among 64-year-olds was indistinguishable from that of 65-year-olds, even though the latter group voted by mail in large numbers.
Like Georgia, Texas did not require an identification to vote by mail, but has a strict ID requirement for in-person voting.
The partisan makeup of the electorate did not appear to change, either. The Democratic share of voters appeared to tick up by two-tenths of a percentage point — enough to decide a very close election. But it is also so small that it could just be statistical noise, with no effect at all. Social science methods just do not offer the level of precision necessary to nail down whether this, or any, change might move the needle by a tenth of a point.
The Georgia law does not come anywhere close to eliminating no-excuse absentee voting, unlike what the political scientists tested in Texas. As a result, one might expect the new law to have an even smaller effect. (You could make a counterintuitive argument that making absentee voting harder is worse for Democrats than eliminating it altogether, and that Democrats might be better off discouraging people from mail voting to avoid unnecessary ballot rejections of people who could have successfully voted in person.)
The Georgia runoff elections, while hardly a scientific case study, nonetheless offer another useful example. There were fewer opportunities to vote in advance compared with the general election, because of the shorter election campaign and the holiday season. Based on the drop-off in early voting, many analysts wound up underestimating the final turnout by 20 percent or more. In the end, turnout exceeded expectations. The number of Election Day voters was higher than it was in the general election, as many people who might have voted early if it were not for Christmas or New Year’s Day now turned out on Election Day.
Maybe runoff turnout would have been higher with the same early voting opportunities as in the general. But maybe not. And none of this had any discernible negative effect on the Democrats, who of course did better than they did in the general.
The report by The New York Times questioned:
How is it possible that something like eliminating no-excuse absentee mail voting, a method beloved by millions of voters, would not materially affect turnout or election results?
It gave an answer:
One simple answer is that convenience isn’t as important as often assumed. Almost everyone who cares enough to vote will brave the inconveniences of in-person voting to do so, whether that is because the inconveniences are not really so great, or because they care enough to suffer them.
This supposes a certain reasonable level of convenience, of course: Six-hour lines would change the calculation for many voters. And indeed, long lines do affect turnout. It also supposes a certain level of interest. Someone might think: There is no way I am waiting a half-hour in line to vote for dogcatcher. Similarly, the importance of a convenient voting option probably grows as the significance of a race decreases.
As an implication, the report said:
The implication, though, is that nearly every person will manage to vote if sufficiently convenient options are available, even if the most preferred option does not exist. That makes the Georgia election law’s effort to curb long lines potentially quite significant. Not only might it mitigate the already limited effect of restricting mail voting, but it might even outweigh it.
The report mentioned a few reasons and result:
Another reason is that convenience voting may not be as convenient for lower-turnout voters, who essentially decide overall turnout. Low-turnout voters probably are not thinking about how they will vote a month ahead of the election, when they will need to apply for an absentee ballot. Someone thinking about this is probably a high-turnout voter. Low-turnout voters might not even know until Election Day whom they will support. And that makes them less likely to take advantage of advance voting options like no-excuse early voting, which requires them to think about the election early and often: to submit an application, fill out a ballot and return it.
As a result, convenience voting methods tend to reinforce the socioeconomic biases favoring high-turnout voters. The methods ensure that every high-interest voter has many opportunities to vote, without doing quite as much to draw less engaged voters to the polls.
A final reason is that voting restrictions may backfire by angering and energizing Democratic voters. This law’s restrictions on handing out water in line, for instance, may do more to mobilize Democrats than to stop them from voting. One recent study even theorized that the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back elements of the Voting Rights Act didn’t reduce Black turnout because subsequent efforts to restrict voting were swiftly countered by efforts to mobilize Black voters.
That does not mean the Georgia law or other such laws are without consequence. Many make voting more difficult, enough to intimidate or discourage some voters. Many outright disenfranchise voters, even if only in small numbers. Perhaps the disenfranchisement of even a single voter merits outrage and opposition, especially if the law is passed on dubious or even fabricated grounds, and with Jim Crow mass disenfranchisement as a historical backdrop.
But setting aside intent, it does mean that many such voting provisions, like that in Georgia, are unlikely to have a huge effect on turnout or Democratic chances.
The report said:
There are consequences to misunderstanding the stakes of changing voting laws. Minor changes in voting access can overshadow larger issues, including the kinds of potentially significant provisions in the Georgia law that empower the State Legislature. The democracy reform bill H.R. 1, for instance, would do quite a bit to expand voting access but relatively little to protect against partisan interference in election administration.
Wall Street Journal said in a report (“Both Parties Push for Election Reforms, but With Very Different Goals”, April 8, 2021):
The new Georgia elections law has ignited a political firestorm, sparking lawsuits and putting pressure on businesses to take a position. Republican supporters say new rules were needed to improve the electoral system and boost faith in the process, while Democrats say the GOP is trying to suppress voters who helped Democrats win the White House and control of the Senate.
Republican lawmakers passed the voting-rules bill along party lines in late March. “The facts are this new law will expand voting access in the Peach State,” said Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, upon signing the bill. Republicans have highlighted a new requirement for every county to offer two Saturdays of early voting instead of just one, with the option to add two Sundays, though several more populous Democratic counties already offered two Saturdays. The law doesn’t roll back early voting on weekends, despite that being proposed at one point.
Democrats and other critics believe the law is meant to depress minority turnout in particular, and say former President Donald Trump and his supporters corroded faith in the electoral process through unsupported fraud claims. A narrow victory in Georgia helped Joe Biden win the White House, and Democrats gained an edge in the U.S. Senate by flipping both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats in runoff elections.
The new law, known by a 98-page bill called SB 202, contains an array of changes detailed in often dense legal language.
Washington Post, in an analysis (“Expand access? A historic restriction? What the Georgia voting law really does.”, by Peter W. Stevenson, April 6, 2021) said:
Opponents of Georgia’s new elections law call it a blatant attack on voting rights, aimed specifically at suppressing the minority vote that helped propel Joe Biden’s presidential win and gave Democrats two critical seats in the U.S. Senate. Backlash from the corporate world has been growing, and on Friday Major League Baseball announced it was moving its All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to the law. President Biden said last week the law amounts to “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” calling it “un-American” and “sick.”
But Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who signed the bill into law last month, insists the opposite.
“I’m telling you the truth about this bill,” Kemp insisted on WABE radio, Atlanta’s NPR affiliate, on Tuesday. “It expands access.”
A close examination of the language in the law shows it does contain new restrictions on voting; some are likely to make it disproportionately more difficult for poorer voters and voters of color to cast their ballots.
It is also correct that there are ways in which the law expands voter access, particularly in ways that will be visible in rural areas.
The context is important of course: This is playing out in the wake of Georgia’s swing to Democrats in the 2020 presidential election and the ensuing baseless charges of fraud from the Trump campaign and its allies. Republican lawmakers in the state — as many of their counterparts across the country have — quickly began drafting a bill critics say is a political reaction from a party beholden to Trump.
The other important context: The long history of suppressing Black votes.
So let’s look at what it does and doesn’t do.
How the new law limits voting
It shrinks the window for voters to request mail ballots. Rather than allowing voters to request ballots six months from Election Day, the new law says voters can start requesting ballots 78 days out; counties can begin sending ballots to voters just 29 days before Election Day, rather than the previous 49 days. It also sets an earlier cutoff date for ballot application requests.
Critics say any mail delays with these shorter periods could lead to voters not getting ballots on time, or not being able to return them in time. But proponents of the law say voters simply don’t need the 180 days they used to have to request ballots – and that moving up the cutoff date makes it less likely voters will receive ballots too late to get them back in time to be counted.
Counties and the state can send mail ballot applications only to voters who request them (as opposed to simply sending every registered voter a ballot application) and cannot fill in information ahead of time.
New voter ID requirements. Voters who cast mail ballots will have to provide one of several forms of identification. This provision — which replaces a signature match previously used to confirm voters’ identities — is one of the most controversial because critics say it is likely to disproportionately affect Black voters.
Voters don’t have to provide a copy of the identification, but could for example provide a driver’s license number, social security number or other acceptable identification.
A limit on the number of ballot drop boxes during early voting. It essentially limits the number of drop boxes in each county to one per early-voting site, or one for every 100,000 voters in the county, whichever number is smaller. And the drop boxes can’t be conveniently spread over the county, for example, in places where there aren’t in-person early-voting locations; they all have to be located either in a county election office or at an early-voting precinct location. They have to be indoors, which critics say make them less accessible and could lead to crowds where voters are already congregated,
Shortened early voting in runoff elections. Instead of a minimum of three weeks of early voting in runoffs, early voting in runoffs will be held in a single Monday-Friday period.
State lawmakers get much more power over county and local elections (and Republicans have decisive majorities in both the state Senate and the state House). The law states that the General Assembly will select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state — an elected position. The chair is supposed to be nonpartisan. The state election board can investigate county election boards and has the power to suspend county election superintendents — though the law limits the state board to suspending four at a time.
You might remember Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who became the target of his own party’s ire after President Donald Trump put pressure on him over the results of the 2020 election; this provision seems like a direct reaction to that, ensuring partisan state lawmakers can control the election process more directly.
A ban on handing out food and water within 150 feet of a polling place, or within 25 feet of any voter. Republicans say this is aimed at stopping outside groups from influencing voters; Democrats say it’s supposed to make it harder for people to wait in long lines, particularly on hot or cold days. Election officials are permitted to set up water stations — but they’re not required to do so.
A few ways it expands voting:
The analysis added:
A minimum number of drop boxes is guaranteed. Kemp has been arguing publicly that in rural counties that didn’t have drop boxes in previous elections, this is an improvement (drop boxes weren’t allowed in Georgia at all before 2020, and not all counties had them even during the pandemic). While the number of drop boxes is so limited it might not make a huge difference for voters, Kemp is correct that the law for the first time codifies requirements for a minimum number of drop boxes in each county.
An additional day of early voting in most rural counties. The new bill requires at least two Saturdays of early voting for each primary and general election (previous Georgia law required only one). It allows counties to choose when their early-voting locations are open, for a minimum of eight hours a day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
More resources for precincts so lines don’t get too long. The law basically requires the state to monitor polling locations to see if any have lines longer than an hour, or still have voters waiting in line for more than an hour after polls were supposed to close. In those cases, the state is required to either form new precinct locations to ease the strain or beef up the existing polling locations’ capacities to handle large numbers of voters. This applies specifically to populous precincts, mostly in urban areas.
The Washington Post said:
A block on Sunday voting. Earlier proposals called for a ban on Sunday voting. This proposal was seen as directly targeting Black voters, who often vote as part of church-run “souls to the polls” efforts that take place on Sundays.
A ban on no-excuse absentee voting. Georgia Republicans actually passed a bill in the state Senate a few weeks ago that would have banned no-excuse absentee voting, one of the most criticized — but not uniformly agreed upon — GOP proposals in the lead-up to the final bill. A few key Georgia Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R), opposed the idea — and it was ultimately removed from the bill Kemp signed into law.
How does this compare to other states?
The analysis said:
Kemp and other defenders of the law say what’s on the books now is in line with voting laws, even in blue states. Kemp cited Biden’s home state of Delaware in a Fox News interview Thursday, pointing to the ways Georgia allows more access.
Georgia’s new voter ID requirement for mail ballots is one interesting comparison point. The state’s old system required a cumbersome — and some said unreliable — signature-matching process, and the new law replaces it with a requirement for a driver’s license, Social Security card or one of a number of other forms of ID prescribed by the state.
That is actually a little bit less strict than some of the strictest voter ID requirements in the country, where photo ID is required. Other states are closer to Georgia’s new law, requiring some kind of photo or non-photo ID, including a Social Security number. And among those are blue states including Delaware, Washington and Connecticut.
The preservation of no-excuse absentee voting means Georgia isn’t among the most restrictive states in terms of mail-in voting. In 2020, four states required a reason beyond the coronavirus pandemic to vote by mail.
An Atlanta datelined Fox report (“What is in Georgia’s new election law?”, by Claire Simms ) said the following:
Much of the conversation surrounding Georgia’s new election law has focused on the ban on distributing water and snacks to voters in line, but the 98-page bill included many more changes.
One of the biggest revisions in the “Election Integrity Act of 2021” is the role of the Secretary of State. Under the new law, the secretary is no longer the chair of the State Election Board and, instead, a non-voting member of the board.
Moving forward, the General Assembly will elect a “nonpartisan” chairperson to oversee the board.
The law also gives the State Election Board the power to suspend and even remove up to four local elections superintendents at once and appoint temporary superintendents in their place.
In the future, counties will not be able to accept any outside funding, like grants, for election administration. In 2020, several Georgia counties used grant money to purchase absentee ballot drop boxes, as well as provide personal protective equipment and hazard pay to poll workers.
Under the updated law, if voters had to wait more than an hour to check-in at their precinct on Election Day, local officials must take action before the next election. For precincts with more than 2,000 assigned voters, they must reduce that number or add voting machines and poll workers.
The act prohibits the use of mobile voting precincts unless in an emergency declared by the governor.
The “Election Integrity Act of 2021” expands early in-person voting to 17 days by adding one Saturday and gives counties the option to include two additional Sundays of advance voting.
In contrast, the absentee ballot request period is shorter. The new deadline to request an absentee ballot is 11 days before Election Day and voters must include their Georgia Driver’s License or state ID number on their application. Voters without a state-issued ID must include a photocopy of a utility bill, pay check or government check.
When it is time to return their absentee ballots, voters in large counties will find fewer absentee drop boxes. The state allowed counties to set up drop boxes under an emergency rule by the State Election Board. The new law makes drop boxes permanent. So, all 159 counties will be required to have one, but it caps the number of drop boxes in each county to one per 100,000 registered voters. Fulton County had about 40 drop boxes in November 2020 and would be capped at about 8.
The law also restricts the placement and use of drop boxes. They must be located inside an early voting location, except during a public health emergency. The boxes can only be open during early voting hours.
In 2020, the Secretary of State’s Office sent absentee ballot applications to all active Georgia voters because of the pandemic. The new law forbids state and local officials from sending those applications in the future without a specific request from a voter.
The act also limits how Georgians vote provisionally. Prior to this law, voters who went to the wrong precinct on Election Day could vote a provisional ballot. Now, provisional ballots will only count if a voter casts it after 5 p.m. and provides a reason as to why they cannot make it to their assigned precinct before the polls close.
The law and the debate on the law says the character of politics.