Duncan Lauds Passage of Election Reform Package
ATLANTA (February 23, 2021) | Today, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan praised the Senate’s passage of his common-sense election reform package. This bi-partisan package includes Senate Bills 40, 67, 184, and 188.
“Last month I committed that I would only support common-sense election reforms, and would work to modernize our election procedures to keep pace with changes in the way Georgians vote. I am focused on maintaining confidence in our electoral process and making it easy to vote and difficult to cheat,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “I am proud of this bi-partisan package and the hard work of the individual bill sponsors. I look forward to the entire package reaching the Governor’s desk.”
Senate Bill 40: Sen. Jen Jordan (D – Atlanta), authorizes election registrars and absentee ballot clerks to begin to open and tabulate absentee ballots before Election Day. The bill also prohibits any election official who is tabulating votes, or monitoring tabulation, from communicating any information regarding the tabulation until the polls close.
Senate Bill 67: Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry), requires individuals who choose to vote by absentee ballot to either provide their driver’s license number or state issue ID number on their ballot request form, or provide a photocopy of an accepted form of identification. Those voting for the first time in Georgia will be required to provide a copy of an accepted form of identification.
Senate Bill 184: Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens), decreases the time counties are required to reconcile vote counts and enter verification and credit into the statewide voter registration system from 60 days to 30 days after an election. Fines may now be levied to ensure compliance and accountability.
Senate Bill 188: Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens), requires that counties report, at the close of the polls, the number of absentee ballots issued and returned as well as the number of in-person votes cast, including by provisional ballot. Information will be required to be made publically available online by the Secretary of State.
“Free and fair elections are a foundation of our democracy, and it is important that we ensure the integrity of our system,” said Sen. Walker. “As voting methods have changed, with a significant increase in absentee mail- in voting, I was proud to work with the Lt. Governor and my Senate Colleagues to modernize our voter identification measures to protect the integrity of the absentee voting process.”
“With the passage of Senate Bills 184 and 188, the Senate has taken a major step towards restoring confidence in our elections by providing a transparent process for how votes are verified,” said Sen. Cowsert. “When these measures become law, voters will have confidence and confirmation that their vote was indeed counted and counted quickly with county election boards required to publicly post the total number of votes received before they begin tabulating. I am proud to have the Lt. Governor’s support on these bills and appreciate the diligent work of my Senate colleagues.”