With opposition gathering outside his office, Gov. Brian Kemp signed new voting restrictions into law Thursday less than an hour after they passed the General Assembly. Calling the legislation "Jim Crow 2.0," protesters outside the Capitol said voters were being disenfranchised. A Democratic state representative was arrested and removed by force after she knocked on Kemp's door to try to witness the signing, the Journal-Constitution reports. Supporters, including Kemp, said the legislation would safeguard the integrity of elections. Georgia became the first battleground state to limit voter access since the November presidential election, in which President Biden carried the state over former President Donald Trump, per CNN.
The legislation rewrites Georgia voting laws. It adds voter ID requirements, limits the number of drop boxes for ballots, and permits the state to take over local elections. Runoffs will be held more quickly after general elections, leaving as little as one week for early voting. "It's like the Christmas tree of goodies for voter suppression," one Democrat said on the Senate floor. Republicans said the new law would increase trust in the state's elections after Trump's claims of fraud last November, though Georgia election officials—including Republicans—say there’s no evidence of widespread fraud. Republicans in other states are pursuing similar legislation, and President Biden called such efforts "un-American" on Thursday. He said he'll do everything he can to block them. (Read more voting rights stories.)