Georgia Senate passes bill to better monitor elections

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    The Georgia Senate passed a substitution on Thursday.

    The bill will provide for uniform election equipment and ballot marking devices, as well as establish standards and procedures for devices, and provide for the time for filing evidence of nomination by political candidates.

    Primarily, this bill was put fourth by the House in February after the close governors race between Governor Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams.

    Section 14 clarifies the amount of time that should be given, if a polling place were to move. "A polling place shall not be changed on a day in which a primary, election, or runoff is held, or during the 60 day period prior to any general primary or general election or runoff from such primary or election, nor shall a polling place be changed in the 30 day period prior to any special primary or special election or runoff from such special primary or special election."

    The only exception being that if the superintendent deems the situation as an emergency; thus the polling place will be unusable.

    The bill goes on to talk about the new voting equipment stating, " equipment used for casting and counting votes in county, state, and federal elections shall be the same in each county in this state and shall be provided to each county by the state, as determined by the Secretary of State."

    SB316 states that there are two types of voting machines available to use. A direct recording electronic or 'DRE', which is a computer driven unit for casting and counting votes or a written ballots that can be scanned by a ballot scanner.

    DRE do not need to have a curtain, given the setup of the screen and boarder around it. In counties that a written ballot is given, a curtain must cover the voter during the time they are voting.

    The ballots must read official ballot-- i.e. 'Official ballot' means a ballot, whether paper, mechanical, or electronic, which is furnished by the superintendent or governing authority.

    The back and for on the Senate floor over four rounds of drafts, substitutions and disagreement begs the question, will this help with future elections?

    SB 316 does clarify a question many people ask during times of elections, what if the name on my driver's license doesn't match the applicant form?

    "In the event that the name, driver's license number, social security number, or date of birth provided by the person registering to vote on the voter registration form does not match information about the applicant on file at the Department of Driver Services or the federal Social Security Administration, the applicant shall nevertheless be registered to vote but shall be required to produce proof of his or her identity to a county registrar, a deputy county registrar, a poll manager, or a poll worker at or before the time that such applicant requests a ballot for the first time in any federal, state, or local election."

    The full 39 page bill is readable below:

    SB 316 by Wanda Peedee on Scribd

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