Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Monday appointed an 18-member group of election officials, state legislators, political party representatives and voting experts to recommend the state’s next election system. The group, called the Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission, will hold public meetings across Georgia and review options for the state’s voting system, including hand-marked paper ballots and electronic machines with a voter-verified paper trail. Kemp announced earlier this month he was forming the study group to evaluate options to replace the state’s electronic voting machines, which don’t leave an independent paper backup that could be checked for accuracy of election results. He created the group after the Georgia General Assembly failed to pass legislation to move the state to a new voting system.
Kemp and Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, will be the co-chairmen of the SAFE Commission, which will conduct a cost analysis of voting systems, research post-election audit procedures and provide recommendations before next year’s legislative session.
“It is an honor to serve alongside these individuals, who are committed to an open, transparent and inclusive process where we set our politics aside and focus on how we can keep Georgia’s elections secure, accessible and fair,” Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor, said in a statement.