Why conservatives should hate Georgia's voting restrictions

Conservatism is about more than winning elections

Georgia's new election law, signed by the state's Republican governor Thursday night, has been protested by Democrats up to and including President Biden. And no wonder: While the law does make some commonsense reforms (like expanding some weekend voting and allowing poll workers to help out in neighboring counties when needed), its more controversial components are blatantly restrictive.

Among other changes, the legislation criminalizes photographing your own ballot as well as directly giving people food or water while they wait in line to vote. It reduces the number of absentee ballot boxes available and the time in which voters can request an absentee ballot while also making the request process more complicated. For "anyone whose brain hasn't been melted by partisan politics," Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown observes, "it's a pretty transparent attempt to sway election results, or at least to play to voter fraud fears." Those are largely Republican fears, and Democrats worry their voters will be disproportionately disenfranchised by the strictures.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.