In an interview today more reminscent of a conversation with your next-door neighbor,Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp talked about military voters and Georgia’s recent legislative changes regarding military voters and their accessibility to the election processes.
Military voters have had difficult times voting in local and national elections simply because of time and distance. While many states have been dragging their feet on compliance with the MOVE Act, The Secretary of State’s office and the Georgia Legislature have allowed no grass to grow under their feet on this issue. The Federal MOVE Act was designed to help with this and in the early part of the year the Georgia Legislature passed HB 1073 which is a state law that essentially complies with the Federal statute. For the first time in history, Military voters from the state of Georgia will be able to access their ballots online instead of waiting for these ballots to be mailed to them. The ballots are printed, completed, and mailed back for tabulation by the state after which the counties are notified of these counts. It is a sea change that has been supported by Secretary Kemp’s office in addition to HB 665. HB 665, which was sponsored by Representative Mark Hamilton, is a giant leap forward in that it provides for a pilot program to be developed by the Secretary of State’s office which will allow military voters to vote whereever they are in the world electronically, eliminating the mailing process.
On a companion subject, the Mr. Kemp indicated that the prevention of voter fraud was high on his office’s priority list and as such, the State’s litigation efforts against the U.S. Department of Justice were continuing. The root issue for this lawsuit is that Georgia contends that it is only proper to ask for reasonable identification for a voter to register and vote in elections. Groups such as the ACLU and other activist organizations complain that the idea that identification should be required eliminates qualified voters from the voter registration rolls.
For activist groups, as is the case in states such as Illinois, a pulse should be sufficient. Or maybe that is asking for too much as well. It is clear in Georgia that the standard is a bit higher. The voter needs to be who they say they are, a citizen of Georgia, and a citizen of the United States. This seems pretty reasonable.
The Secretary of State’s office has a website set up for citizens to notify them regarding potential voter fraud.
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