Local election officials in Georgia oppose GOP election bill

During Monday’s hearing, State Sen. Butch Miller, a Republican and member of the state Senate Ethics Committee, appeared to heed some of ...

During Monday’s hearing, State Sen. Butch Miller, a Republican and member of the state Senate Ethics Committee, appeared to heed some of the officials’ concerns.

“I think we’ll probably have some extra work to do,” he said. Although Mr Miller said he was not interested in sweeping changes to the bill, he also said he was not averse to “tweaking it and fixing some issues”. The committee has not yet scheduled a vote on the bill.

Election officials cautioned against language they deemed too broad in a provision that limits third-party donations to election offices. The proposal is popular among Republicans who believe grants from an organization linked to Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, had undue influence in the 2020 election. Some Georgia election officials said the legislation would require that any organization making a donation receives approval from the state Board of Elections. This could include churches or other local groups that offer their buildings as polling places.

“By a strict interpretation of this particular provision, it would be a gift or donation grant,” Milton Kidd, the chief electoral officer for Douglas County, a deeply Democratic county, said in an interview.

Mr Kidd added that many churches did not have staff to handle the application process, which could threaten its ability to maintain enough polling stations.

Officials also challenged a provision requiring partisan poll watchers to be given “meaningful access” to observe the counting process. The language could compromise the confidentiality of the ballot, they said.

“I’m a big fan of poll watchers, being watched, I want my polling places watched, that’s a very important part of the process,” said Bartow County Administrator Mr Kirk. , northwest of Atlanta. “But it’s also really important to have guardrails on that observation, to keep it from becoming disruptive, to make sure that a person’s information stays safe.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Local election officials in Georgia oppose GOP election bill
Local election officials in Georgia oppose GOP election bill
Newsrust - US Top News
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