A former Taylor County voting registrar says every registrar in the state and their oversight agency should face the threat of a lawsuit if they do not process voting applications quickly enough. “Forty-five days is more than enough, in my opinion,” said Patty Bentley, now a state representative and author of a new bill setting that deadline. Her House Bill 130 would allow anyone whose registration is not processed within 45 days to take either the county registrar or the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office to court.
Counties process voter registrations and run elections under the oversight of the Secretary of State. Bentley, D-Butler, said a bottleneck could happen at either level.
Her bill comes after a dispute last autumn between the secretary of state and the New Georgia Project, a voter registration campaign run by state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta. The New Georgia Project accused the Secretary of State’s Office of failing to ensure counties processed voter registrations in a timely manner, putting people’s ballot access at risk.