The Senate Subcommittee on Ethics will consider several election reform bills this morning — including one by Senate Pro-Tem Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)  that would call on members of the State Election Board to appoint a chief elections assistance officer. 

According to SB 89, this person would work for the Secretary of State to help manage and oversee elections, and would work at the pleasure of the State Election Board. According to the bill,  the chief elections assistance officer would be responsible for managing and overseeing a system of supports and assistance for county election  superintendents across the state including coordinating training for these county officials.   

Also under the bill, the chief elections assistance officer would evaluate election management practices and procedures, and identify any  resources county election superintendents might need. This person would also identify election assistance coaches, and these coaches would be required to have “significant experience and training in election administration and election law.” 

Also scheduled to be heard today is SB 71, one of seven elections reform bills sponsored by State Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga). This bill — among other issues —would require  that a voter provide an authorized reason to vote by absentee ballot.  

“Our recent General Election this past November highlighted a few areas of our state’s election system that require urgent attention,” said Sen. Mullis. “Our right to vote is one of the most sacred and cherished practices of our democratic republic. When Georgians do not trust that their voices are properly being heard, we owe it to them to address their concerns and find the proper solutions to restore their confidence in the process.  

“As legislators, we must do all we can to secure the right to vote and ensure that the will of the people is properly reflected in our election results. I hope that these bills will serve as a starting point to begin the conversation on how we can improve elections in our state,” Mullis added. 

Sen. Randy Robertson’s (R-Cataula) SB 93 which addresses the use of portable and movable polling facilities in certain circumstances is also on the schedule along with SB 67 (Larry Walker, R-Perry) that would require ID for absentee voting. 

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