“Georgia panel: Reforms, resources needed for election review”


A process recently implemented by Georgia state lawmakers to examine how county officials handle elections is likely unsustainable without more resources or reforms, according to the panel that did the first review under the law.

The provision in a sweeping 2021 election overhaul allows state lawmakers who represent a given county to request a review of local election officials and their practices. That sets in motion a process that ultimately could lead to the replacement of county election officials by the State Election Board….

Members of the panel told the state board on Tuesday that it would, perhaps, be more useful to implement a more positive, proactive and periodic review process to help counties fix problems before they become systemic.

“It is better to be a partner than an adversary, better to improve systems before dysfunction than trying to fix them after the fact,” Day said.

He suggested several possible approaches: a review process using retired election officials, or volunteers run through the Georgia Association of Voter Registration and Election Officials; hiring outside consultants to do reviews; or having paid staff within the secretary of state’s office that travels to all 159 counties for reviews. But he said that all of those options require funding and called on state lawmakers to adequately fund the secretary of state’s office.

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