Happening now: House Election subcommittee meeting, hearing three bills that would weaken the State Election Board's rulemaking ability, strip the Secretary of State of SEB voting power and allow the SEB to take over local elections, respectively. #gapol

HB 491 says the SEB "may only adopt emergency rules or regulations in circumstances of imminent peril to public health, safety, or welfare" and would require more notice to more people (they already post rules+emergency rules for consideration tho)

Rep. Blackmon saying the SEB made emergency rules without any notification or oversight and that's just not true. They've been publicly posted+discussed+reported on.

For example:

HB 492 would remove the Secretary of State as a voting member of the State Election Board and replace them with an appointee of the governor approved by 3/5 of each chamber of the legislature.

Blackmon says it's about "checks and balances" with SOS.

HB 493 would outline a way that the SEB could intervene in county election administration, similar to Georgia's "Chief Turnaround Officer" (which didn't go so well, by the way). They could take over no more than 8 of 159 local elections offices.

Todd Edwards with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia says there's concern with this bill, especially having the state come in and take over local control of elections. Also, who pays for the second group running elections?

Also, the issue with Park Tavern was two different polling places backed out (including one last-minute) that forced nearly 14k active voters to be assigned to that one location, which really is a COVID thing more than anything else.

Now we're hearing HB 501, from Blackmon and @sheaforgeorgia, which clarifies that the text on BMDs be what's used in a recount (aka recounts would have to be full hand counts)

That would be quite expensive if it was a statewide race, fwiw.

We're adjourned. The next big elections hearing is at 3:30, more discussion about HB 531(which still doesn't have the first committee sub online, and nobody's seen the second committee sub yet either)

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More from @stphnfwlr

25 Feb
Good morning!

The Georgia Senate is already hearing the omnibus voting bill SB 241 in committee this morning at 7:30 AM.

It would give GA some of the most restrictive absentee laws in the country. #gapol

Watch: livestream.com/accounts/26021… Image
The first bill up is SB 62, which would do a number of things with ballots. The first would require precinct info to be more clearly printed, plus security markers. That ballot paper would likely cost more.

It passes committee.

UP NOW: We're doing a hearing *only* on Senate omnibus SB 241

Majority Leader Dugan is walking through each section.

Read 10 tweets
24 Feb
Happening now: another day of committee hearings for House elections omnibus HB 531.

Among other things, it would ban Sunday early voting. #gapol

Watch: livestream.com/accounts/25225…
There's yet another committee substitute, but this time I don't have it. Yay transparency!

But we're walking through the changes now.
Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones has an amendment that would codify drop boxes and require every county to have absentee drop boxes - one per 100k active voters - and would be located at early voting sites or elections board offices.
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb
NEW: A bill cosponsored by all but 3 GOP state Senators would give Georgia one of the most restrictive absentee voting laws in the country, the latest attempt to make voting harder after Democratic victories. #gapol

More on the *other* omnibus:

SB 241 would severely limit who is eligible to vote by mail, require applications to be made under oath with additional ID requirements and require some *ballots* to have a witness signature+include a photocopy of ID to be counted.

Currently, Georgia is one of 34 states that does not require an excuse to vote by mail and one of 19 states that conducts signature verification of absentee applications. Only two states require photo ID to be submitted with the actual ballot.

Read 9 tweets
24 Feb
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State kicks off this week's State Election Board meeting - one where the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems is slated to speak. #gapol Image
John Poulos, CEO of Dominion Voting Systems:

"I find it important these days to specifically talk about what we do as a company and what we don't do as a company..."

Do: provide election technology
Don't: run elections (that's the 159 counties in Georgia) Image
Poulos is running through the certification process that Dominion systems (and all voting machine vendors) go through, knocking down some of the conspiracies and misinfo spread by Sidney Powell and others.

Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
NEW: Georgia Senate Republicans have dropped SB 241, their 25 page omnibus election bill that would dramatically restrict absentee voting (ending no-excuse and requiring a witness) and other reactionary measures after Democrats won in Nov+Jan. #gapol

GA SOS office breaks silence with a dig at many of these bills making their way through the legislature. #gapol

"At the end of the day many of these bills are reactionary to a three month disinformation campaign that could have been prevented.” Image
Section 1 would establish a hotline for "voter intimidation and illegal election activities" that the AG's office would have to investigate within three business days.

Not discussed: Who's gonna pay for/staff that. (Also the State Election Board handles elections investigations) Image
Read 29 tweets
23 Feb
Here's the latest version of HB 531, generously obtained about an hour before the committee meeting to discuss it since chair won't share!

Would still ban Sunday voting and adds a couple more sections that were discussed yesterday.

60 pages now. #gapol

Watch the committee hearing for yourselves at 3:30 here:

We're underway, with fill-in chairman Alan Powell. We've got about 4-5 people left to testify.
Read 9 tweets

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