Elections Advisory Council
Elections Advisory Council
Thank you for visiting the Secretary of State’s Elections Advisory Council (EAC) website. Please click here to access the EAC Final Report and Recommendations.
Highlights from the EAC Final Report and Recommendations include urging the Georgia General Assembly to adopt the following proposals in the 2012 legislative session:
Amend the process by which Independent and political body candidates qualify for placement on the ballot.
Design and implement a secure electronic voter registration system.
To save money and reduce strain on county election offices, eliminate the September special election date to fill a vacancy in a county or municipal office in an even-numbered year.
Permit county election offices to save resources by utilizing electronic record retention technology for voter registration and related materials.
The EAC also recommends that the Georgia General Assembly consider these items as part of a legislative study committee: The EAC also recommends that the Georgia General Assembly consider these items as part of a legislative study committee:
- Should the current majority threshold for election victory be changed to a set plurality for all elections?
- Should the current majority threshold for election victory be changed to a set plurality for special elections only?
- Should municipal elections that are currently held in odd-numbered years be held in even-numbered years?
Further, the EAC suggests the creation of the Georgia Election Code and State Election Board Rules Review Committee. The Committee will carefully examine each document and draft suggestions for clarification, consolidation and reorganization of materials to allow for better comprehension and understanding. For example, the Committee will consider revision and clarification of state election law regarding residency and where voters are required to cast their ballots.
Finally, the EAC recognizes that some items require future study by the Secretary of State’s Office before encouraging the Georgia General Assembly to enact changes to current election law. One example is the creation of vote centers so voters can cast their ballots in-person at any polling place within their county.
Georgia has taken tremendous steps to implement numerous safeguards and voting opportunities that make our elections among the most secure and accessible in the country. Though we are proud of the progress we have made to secure our elections and guarantee ballot access for voters, there are always opportunities to improve our elections processes at all levels of government.
To achieve this goal, Secretary of State Brian Kemp formed the Secretary of State’s Elections Advisory Council (EAC). The EAC reviewed the Georgia Election Code and State Election Board Rules throughout 2011 to make recommendations that improve and strengthen Georgia’s election laws and procedures. In particular, the EAC looked for improvements that create cost savings and increase efficiencies for state, county and local governments.
The EAC is comprised of the following experienced election officials and leaders from across Georgia:
- Lynn Bailey, Executive Director, Richmond County Board of Elections
- Richard Barclift, Elections Superintendent, City of Chickamauga
- Todd Blackwell, Baldwin County Probate Judge and Elections Superintendent
- Nancy Boren, Director, Muscogee County Office of Elections and Voter Registration
- State Senator Hardie Davis (D - Augusta)
- State Representative Mark Hamilton (R - Cumming)
- Mike Jablonski, General Counsel, Democratic Party of Georgia
- State Representative Rusty Kidd (I - Milledgeville)
- Beth Kish, Elections and Registration Manager, Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration
- Anne Lewis, General Counsel, Georgia Republican Party
- Charles Schwabe, Mayor, City of Swainsboro
- David Shock, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kennesaw State University
- Jeff “Bodine” Sinyard, Chairman, Dougherty County Commission
- Charlotte Sosebee, Hall County Elections Director
- State Senator Cecil Staton (R - Macon)
The EAC conducted meetings in Atlanta, Savannah, Albany and Augusta to receive input from the public, organizations, county elections directors and elected officials. Each EAC meeting featured a period reserved for public comment, so citizens could provide members and others in attendance an overview of their issues and ideas. In addition, the EAC’s website featured an e-government resource that allowed Georgians to submit their ideas to strengthen Georgia’s elections online.
The EAC thanks every citizen who took time to attend a public meeting or submit a suggestion for election reform. This report demonstrates that despite our sometimes partisan differences, men and women dedicated to improving our great state can do so in a non-partisan manner for the benefit of all Georgians.