Perhaps the most controversial provision bans handing out food and water within 150 feet of a polling pace, 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," Stevenson reports. "Election officials are permitted to set up water stations — but they’re not required to do so."
On the other hand, many rural counties, many of which have heavy Black populations, will now be guaranteed ballot drop boxes. "The law for the first time codifies requirements for a minimum number of drop boxes in each county," Stevenson notes. "The number of drop boxes is so limited, it might not make a huge difference for voters." The law limits drop boxes to one per early-voting site, or one for every 100,000 voters in a county, whichever is least. (Most Georgia counties are small.) The law gives most rural counties one day of early voting, requiring it on at least two Saturdays.
Other major changes in the law include shortening the period for requesting absentee ballots to 78 days from 180, and the start of mailing out ballots 29 days before the election instead of 49, which critics said is too short because of increasing delays in mail service.