Decisions about Georgia elections, such as vote counting and polling place closures, could be made by appointees of Republican state officials empowered to take over local election operations, according to a bill awaiting final votes.
Under the proposal, the Republican-controlled State Election Board would be able to replace struggling county election boards and install new management, with broad authority over elections and results.
State takeovers of local election offices could change the outcome of future elections, especially if they’re as hotly contested as last year’s presidential race between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump. County election boards decide on challenges to voters’ eligibility, polling place closures and certification of results.
Efforts to change election oversight in Georgia come after Trump made unsubstantiated claims that the election was stolen. Recounts, both by hand and machine, confirmed Biden won by about 12,000 votes in Georgia. State election officials have said there’s no evidence of widespread fraud.