At the beginning of the 2021 legislative session, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston appointed a novel Special Committee on Election Integrity. His decision to create said committee was grounded in his desire to address lingering concerns regarding Georgia’s Election processes stemming from the 2020 election cycle.
According to Ralston, the committee was designed to address Georgians’ widespread calls for election reform, particularly those surrounding the believed fraud that many Georgians maintain skewed the 2020 election results. While Ralston was sure to explain that the multitude of audits and lawsuits that had been filed in challenge of the election results had uncovered no significant discrepancies, he expressed that he still considered the committee to be a necessity since the people are concerned.
Current House Members include:
- Barry Fleming, 121st District, Chairman
- Alan Powell, 32nd District, Vice Chairman
- Kimberly Alexander, 66th District, Member
- Shaw Blackmon, 146th District, Member
- Rhonda Burnough, 77th District, Member
- Buddy DeLoach, 167th District, Member
- Demetrius Douglas, 78th District, Member
- Houston Gaines, 117th District, Member
- Jan Jones, 47th District, Member
- Chuck Martin, 49th District, Member
- Bonnie Rich, 97th District, Member
- Lynn Smith, 70th District, Member
- Calvin Smyre, 135th District, Member
- Rick Williams, 145th, Member
There are currently five assigned pieces of legislation being overseen by this committee:
- HB 59: A bill intended to authorize instant runoff voting by military personnel and other overseas Georgians. This bill would also provide special absentee ballots for such voters
- HB 62: A bill intended to prohibit boards of elections and registration, local election superintendents, and county elections officials from receiving and using private funds
- HB 64: A bill designed to amend the manner in which replacements of candidates who die while in office are handled, mandating that only people who have been received the majority of the votes in a fair election can be sworn in
- HB 65: A bill that would change the date of a nonpartisan general election for certain offices
- HB 77: A bill that would allow the superintendent of a county to allow voters to vote at any established precinct that they choose within said county during a primary, election or runoff
- HB 101: A bill that would amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated to remove the clause inhibiting felons from voting and/or registering to vote.
- HB 113: A bill that would allow same day registration and voting
- HB 121: A bill that would eliminate Georgia’s No Contact rule, which allows the secretary of state to purge voters from the rolls who have not civically participated for a srt amount of time
- HR 28: Resolving to remove felony voting restrictions
House Bills 59, 62, 64 and 65 are all being reviewed by the House Second Readers, while House Bill 77 is still being reviewed by its House First Readers.
Other issues that Ralston has alluded to using this committee to address include: the use of photo ID for absentee ballot verification, the establishment of a “chief elections officer” that would take over core election management responsibilities from the Secretary of State’s office, and the elimination of laws permitting“Jungle Primaries” that allow all candidates in a special election to appear on the ballot together rather than parties holding primaries first. We will continue to monitor changes from this committee throughout this legislative session.
Additional Information can be found at the following websites:
Did you know that the public can attend Board of Registration and Elections meetings?
These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law. Georgia Open Meetings Act.
Become a Peanut Gallery Volunteer Monitor at our next training on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. Sign up Here