Georgia governor Kemp signs new election legislation

by | May 8, 2024

On Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation introducing further adjustments to Georgia's election laws in anticipation of the 2024 election in the battleground state.

Among the changes is the clarification of probable causes for removing voters from the rolls when their eligibility is contested.

The Senate legislation signed by Kemp, SB 189, specifies several probable causes for removing voters from the rolls, including death, evidence of voting or registering in another jurisdiction, a tax exemption indicating primary residence elsewhere, or a nonresidential address.

The Georgia bill additionally permits challenges to be considered and voters removed from the rolls up until 45 days before an election. The measure also mandates that homeless individuals must use the county voter registration office as their address.

The bill also provides access to Georgia's ballot for any political party that has qualified for the presidential ballot in at least 20 states or territories. This adjustment could potentially benefit independent candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose campaign has raised concerns among Democrats, fearing it could divert support away from Biden.

The bill also removes Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from his ex-officio position on the State Election Board. Previously, Kemp and Republican lawmakers had already removed Raffensperger from his voting position on the board.

The bill further stipulates that starting July 1, 2026, the state is prohibited from utilizing QR codes, a type of barcode, to tally ballots generated on state ballot marking devices.

Instead, the bill mandates that ballots must be read using the text or human-readable marks, such as filled-in bubbles, generated by the machines. Additionally, the bill mandates that counties must report the results of all absentee ballots within an hour after polls close. It also allows counties to utilize paper ballots in elections where fewer than 5,000 people are registered; however, this change will not be implemented until 2025.

Kemp also signed two House Bills into law.

House Bill 974 amends election procedures in Georgia, focusing primarily on enhancing the security and auditing of ballots. Here are the key provisions of the bill:

1. Ballot Security: The bill mandates that ballots used in optical scan voting systems and ballot marking devices must be printed on paper with a visible watermark security feature. This watermark must clearly identify the paper as an official Georgia ballot, ensuring authenticity while maintaining voter anonymity.

2. Scanning and Posting of Ballots: All absentee ballots are required to be scanned to create a digital image with a resolution of at least 600 dots per inch. These scanned images are to be stored in a statewide system, which the Secretary of State is responsible for establishing and managing.

3. Risk-Limiting Audits: The legislation expands the scope of contests subject to risk-limiting audits, which utilize statistical methods to verify the accuracy of election outcomes. Specific parameters for these audits are defined, including the maximum statistical probability that an incorrect outcome could go undetected.

4. Pilot Program for Auditing Using Optical Character Recognition: A pilot program will be implemented to audit paper ballots using optical character recognition technology. This audit will focus on verifying the human-readable text on ballots, excluding any machine-readable codes like QR codes.

5. Public Transparency: The bill includes provisions to enhance transparency in the audit process. It mandates that audit procedures must be conducted in public view, and details of the audits must be promptly made available to the public.

These provisions aim to improve the security, accuracy, and transparency of Georgia's election processes.

House Bill 1207 introduces several changes to election procedures and integrity. Here’s a summary of the key provisions:

1. U.S. Citizenship Requirement: The bill stipulates that anyone employed or retained by a county election superintendent to perform election-related duties must be a U.S. citizen.

2. Reopening Candidate Qualifying: If no candidates qualify during the initial period for nonpartisan or partisan elections, the qualifying period will be reopened to allow more candidates to register.

3. Ballot Proofing and Accuracy: It introduces requirements for ballot proofing to ensure the accuracy of ballots. Candidates or their agents will be able to review and verify the draft versions of the ballots before they are finalized.

4. Poll Watchers’ Access and Regulations: The bill defines and regulates the roles and behaviors of poll watchers, ensuring they have access to observe the election process without interfering.

5. Protections Against Election Interference: The bill sets out specific criminal offenses related to election interference, such as preventing officials from performing their duties or tampering with voting equipment, with severe penalties for violations.

6. Adjustments to Voting Equipment: Provisions are made for the number of voting booths or systems based on expected turnout and other factors, ensuring adequate equipment is available for elections.

7. Overall Integrity and Conduct of Elections: Several other adjustments and clarifications aim to improve the integrity and conduct of the electoral process, including handling of optical scanning voting systems and provisions against election-related violence.

Republican activists have challenged over 100,000 voters in Georgia in recent years, claiming to identify duplicate records and remove voters who have relocated out of state.

In another victory for election integrity in the Peach state, the Georgia State Election Board has mandated that Fulton County must appoint an independent election monitor for the 2024 election. This decision follows an independent investigation that revealed the likelihood of thousands of ballots being scanned twice during a recount of the 2020 election.

The state board voted 2-1 in favor of implementing the independent monitor on Tuesday, marking the conclusion of one of the final inquiries into the results of the 2020 election, which was stolen from President Trump.

The board also voted to dismiss several other complaints against the county, including accusations of adding 16,000 votes to its count prior to certifying the election.

Source: NBC News

Source: Just The News

Source: The Gateway Pundit





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