Georgia

Articles about voting issues in Georgia.

Georgia: Voting Machine Panel Agrees Georgia Needs Paper Ballots By 2020, Disagrees On How To Mark Them | WABE

There was mostly cordial agreement Wednesday in the Macon office of Georgia’s Secretary of State about how the state’s elections should change. Democrats, Republicans, local election officials and one cybersecurity expert on a panel tasked with reviewing Georgia’s options for new voting machines were united. The state’s system should include a paper trail voters can check for themselves, it should be auditable, voter education should be a focus as the new machines are rolled out, and the new system should be in place before the 2020 presidential elections. “In the middle of a very contentious election year,” Republican state Sen. Brian Strickland said, “I love that we are a nonpartisan group that all have the exact same goal in mind, and that’s to make sure that we have a safe, secure and trustworthy election process where every person’s vote is counted.” Read More

Georgia: Hand-Marked Ballots ‘Best Approach’ For New Voting Machines, Expert On Georgia Panel Says | WABE

It would be a “much less desirable approach” for Georgia’s next voting system to feature computers that mark paper ballots for voters based on their selections, according to the lone cybersecurity expert on a panel tasked with making recommendations for replacements to the state’s electronic-only machines. The co-executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security and Privacy, Wenke Lee, made his recommendation in a memo sent to the Secure, Accessible and Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission in October, and it was obtained by WABE this week. “The best approach,” Lee wrote, “is to require the voters to hand mark paper ballots that are scanned and tallied by cyber system but also dropped into a safe box. This is because marking each vote captures and verifies the voter’s intention in a single act.” Read More

Georgia: A panel reviewing a new Georgia election system remains divided | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A group responsible for vetting a more secure and trustworthy Georgia voting system struggled Wednesday to reach agreement over whether to pursue hand-marked paper ballots or touchscreen machines that print ballots. The group of election officials, state lawmakers, political party representatives and voters debated the state’s options to replace its 16-year-old electronic voting machines but didn’t make any decisions Wednesday. The Secure, Accessible & Fair Commission, created by Gov.-elect Brian Kemp last spring when he was secretary of state, plans to hold its final meeting in early January to make recommendations to the Georgia General Assembly. Though the commission failed to reach a consensus, its members heard overwhelming support from the public for hand-marked paper ballots, which voters would bubble in with a pen and then insert into scanning machines. Of 27 people who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, only one — a county elections director — said he wanted a system other than manually filled-in paper ballots. Read More

Georgia: New elections chief will uphold strict voting standards | Atlanta Journal Constitution

As Georgia’s next top elections official, Republican Brad Raffensperger promises to defend broad voter-registration cancellations and strict voting requirements that have fueled accusations of widespread disenfranchisement. Raffensperger, the winner of Tuesday’s runoff for Georgia secretary of state, will continue the work of his predecessor, Gov.-elect Brian Kemp. Democrat John Barrow conceded to Raffensperger on Wednesday. While voter fraud is rare in Georgia, Raffensperger emphasizes election integrity over easy access to voting. He plans to cancel registrations of inactive voters, as Kemp did when more than 1.4 million people were removed from the state’s voting list starting in 2012. Read More

Georgia: It’s time to solve the Mystery of the 100,000 Missing Votes | Atlanta Journal Constitution

The 2018 election season has finally ended. It’s over. Finis. Which means that the time is now ripe to take a cold-eyed, dispassionate and non-partisan look at the Mystery of the Missing 100,000 Votes. This is not about Georgia’s race for governor, but about the lieutenant governor’s contest. And the puzzle isn’t hidden, but sits on the secretary of state’s public website, staring at us like one of Edgar Allan Poe’s purloined letters. Let us begin the hunt by saying that Sarah Riggs Amico, the Democrat who lost to Republican Geoff Duncan by 123,172 votes on Nov. 6, is not asking for a do-over. Yes, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the results, but she is not a party to it. Amico is more interested in finding an explanation. “I don’t think this needs to be looked at as a question of outcome. It needs to be looked at as a question of election integrity,” the former candidate said Monday at the Cobb County headquarters of her family’s trucking firm. Given that the state Legislature is about to embark on a fierce and expensive debate over the replacement of thousands of voting machines in all 159 counties, her search could be an important one. Read More

Georgia: Georgia to pick new elections chief amid voting rights debate | Reuters

Georgia voters return to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new elections chief in a state where critics accused Republicans this autumn of exploiting the position to suppress minority voting rights. Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow were forced into a runoff in the secretary of state race after neither candidate secured a majority of the vote in the Nov. 6 general election as required by state law. The contest has showcased the partisan divisions still rankling the state after its hard-fought governor’s contest, which saw widespread reports of voting problems during an election overseen by the Republican candidate, Brian Kemp, then secretary of state. Read More

Georgia: With New Scrutiny On Voting In Georgia, State Will Pick Top Election Official | WABE

The Nov. 6 midterms, and the prolonged vote count afterward, tested Georgian’s trust in how the state’s elections are administered. Multiple lawsuits were filed, and Democrats and Republicans, without evidence, accused each other of trying to steal the election. Now, less than two weeks after the statewide results were certified, voters will pick a new Secretary of State, Georgia’s top election official. Neither Republican Brad Raffensperger nor Democrat John Barrow could secure a majority of votes in the Nov. 6 general election, pushing their race to a runoff on Tuesday. The winner of the runoff will replace interim Secretary of State, Robyn Crittenden, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal when former Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp resigned. Read More

Georgia: Voting access takes center stage in Georgia runoff | Associated Press

As a battle over the fairness of Georgia’s recent election for governor moves from the political arena to the courtroom, two men are locked in a runoff race, with far less fanfare, to oversee the future of the state’s election apparatus. Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger faces former Democratic congressman John Barrow in a Dec. 4 runoff for Georgia secretary of state after neither garnered the more than 50 percent of votes required to win outright on Nov. 6. Official results show Raffensperger led by about 16,000 votes out of over 3.8 million cast. Raffensperger has support from President Donald Trump, who earlier this week endorsed him via Twitter. Barrow, meanwhile, has the endorsement of some top state Democrats, including former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. At stake in their runoff is the ability to reshape the state’s election system, which came under a national microscope during the recent race for governor between Abrams and Republican Secretary of State — now governor-elect — Brian Kemp. Read More

Georgia: Lasting Rancor Over Voting Issues Puts a Spotlight on a Georgia Runoff | The New York Times

Election Day was three weeks in the past, and Kenneth Royal, a 37-year-old salesman who supported Stacey Abrams for governor, could have spent the chilly Wednesday evening at home, putting politics out of his mind. Instead, Mr. Royal, stung by Ms. Abrams’s narrow defeat, was manning a phone bank, trying to persuade fellow Democrats that the runoff election next week for Georgia secretary of state was not some obscure postscript, but a crucial battle over minority voting rights. The issue of whether the state’s elections are managed fairly grabbed hold of Georgia in the midterms, and has not let go. Brian Kemp, the Republican who ran for governor while still serving as secretary of state, oversaw voting roll purges, registration suspensions, and an Election Day rife with problems — all of which, critics said, were meant to suppress minority voting. Like many Democrats around the country, Mr. Royal believes that those tactics worked, and essentially cheated Ms. Abrams out of victory in an excruciatingly close race. And he sees the coming race for secretary of state as a way to set some things right. Read More

Georgia: Voting rights at stake in runoff for Georgia elections chief | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After an election marred by voting problems, Georgia voters will decide in Tuesday’s runoff who should fix them. One candidate for Georgia secretary of state wants to tackle voter purges, long lines and voting rights. His opponent prefers leaving most elections management to county officials and improving training. Democrat John Barrow, a former U.S. congressman, said he’d seek both voting fairness and accuracy if elected as the state’s top elections official. He faces Republican Brad Raffensperger, an engineering firm CEO who said he would ensure only U.S. citizens can vote and mostly maintain Georgia’s current election process. Read More