A Georgia bill aimed at cutting early voting was shot down on 4 April, marking a win for state voting rights activists in the US.
The Republican sponsored measure would have cut early voting days from 21 to 12, MSNBC reported on 6 April. The bill passed a House committee back in February 2015 and was expected to pass the Republican-controlled legislature.
Republicans argued in February that early voting sites were picked to maximize votes for Democratic candidates, the Huffington Post reported. The bill's supporters added that the measure was needed to create uniformity among all counties.
However, the measure did not receive full house votes after the state's legislature ended its session on 4 April. According to MSNBC, its failure to garner full house votes would cause its supporters to begin again when the legislature reassembles or attach the day cuts to another measure.
Activists rally against bill
After the measure passed the House committee in February, activists and Democratic groups rallied against it.
While the full 21 days of early voting does not make financial sense in smaller, rural counties, they are readily used by many in larger counties. MSNBC reported that 44% of Georgians, mostly minorities, voted early during the 2014 midterm elections.
Georgia Republicans previously cut down early voting from 45 days to 21 days. The 2011 measure was approved by the US Justice Department. According to MSNBC, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp was accused of failing to process about 40,000 new voter registration applications brought in from minority areas.
Bills to cut early voting have affected several states, including North Carolina and Florida. In 2013, a Republican sponsored bill in North Carolina cut seven early voting days and added voter ID provisions that affected young and poorer voters. Florida saw similar cuts in 2012 when a law reduced early voting days from 14 to eight.