Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Thursday, March 25, signed into law a sweeping Republican-sponsored election bill, the Election Integrity Act of 2021, as Democratic lawmakers protested the bill. 

“I was proud to sign S.B. 202 to ensure elections in Georgia are secure, fair, and accessible,” Kemp announced on Twitter. “I appreciate the hard work of members of the General Assembly to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

Kemp signed the bill after it cleared the Georgia General Assembly. The state House approved it 100-75, and the state Senate 34-20. Republicans supported it and no Democrats voted for the reform measures.

The new law seeks to eliminate fraud, secure election integrity by enforcing conformity across the state, restricting drop boxes, expanding in-person voting, and boosting voter ID, among other reforms. The legislation requires a Georgia driver’s license or a state-issued or state-approved ID in order to vote absentee by mail.

“With Senate Bill 202, Georgia will take another step toward ensuring that our elections are secure, accessible, and fair,” Kemp said in livestream remarks after signing the bill. “Ensuring the integrity of the ballot box isn’t partisan, it’s about protecting the very foundation of who we are as Georgians and Americans.”

“After November, I knew like so many of you that significant reforms to our state elections were needed,” he added. “There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled and those problems understandably led to the crisis of confidence at the ballot box here in Georgia.”

Georgia’s contested presidential election results were certified in favor of President Joe Biden. In January, Democrats won two last U.S. Senate runoffs in the once-reliable red state, which gave them the majority with Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. 

Kemp’s signing of the bill drew protests from Democratic representatives. Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon was arrested by Capitol police after making it to an entrance of the governor’s office. She was handcuffed and was escorted out of the building. 

According to The Associated Press, Cannon faces two felony charges: felony obstruction of law enforcement and disrupting a session of the General Assembly. 

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