House Special Committee on Election Integrity Meeting 2/4/21

Move to pass 2021 -2022 Election Integrity rules

A suggestion is made to move to 5 to 6 members for the committee.

Rules passed

House Bill 270B

Absentee ballot application deadline (or rather the issuance of a ballot once an application has been received) would be moved from the Friday before an election to the prior Friday of that. Effectively  moving the deadline up a week. 

So are we proposing only 2 weeks of early voting instead of 3?

No this does not affect in person advance voting. 

What about our current guidelines for how early you can send and request Absentee ballots

You can start to send ballots up to 49 days before an election. 

I believe you can request an absentee ballot up to 90 days before an election

If an application is received 15 days before an election but processed 10 days before are they barred from absentee?

No.

Why 10 days instead of two weeks

The reason we set 10 days instead of 14 is because not everyone knows they need to vote absentee and may need the time

If there is an emergency could a person request an absentee ballot after the deadline

No.

By reducing this option are we not increasing lines

Really quick a correction from earlier a voter may request a ballot up to 180 days before an election not 90.

One of the problems causing lines is people who requested an absentee but not receiving it in time.

Todd Edwards: The pandemic posed several challenges to our current process

Houston County Election Director: Requesting a ballot the friday before an election is setting a voter up to fail. We want to eliminate that risk. 

We are required to have a 3 day turnaround but if we do get it on the deadline that day then we’ll try to get it done that day.

The state keeps track of the ballot requests once it keyed into the system.

This bill is intended to provide a greater level of certainty to voters.

Trey Grayson: Our postal service is not robust enough for our current deadline.

Hillary Li:  This bill is concerning as even when citizens did request ballots months in advance they did not receive a ballot until closer to the election.

Email, Fax and drop boxes also  can alleviate this issue with postal services.

Regarding ballots not being issued in time would this bill not help with that. 

No we need to find a way to make sure the counties are abiding by the 3 day law

I believe the problem is that a lot of people requested multiple times and overloaded the system because of all of the 3rd party applications

How would the rule apply to ballots that still need to be reissued out

The deadline still holds

Situations where a ballot needs to be cured however are open for discussion.

All we’re doing is moving the deadline to increase chances of the vote being counted in time

We’re actually providing more time to cure 

Christopher Bruce(ACLU): The right to vote is Sacred. HB270 would  drastically reduce absentee ballots and urge you to not pass the bill as it is currently drafted.

Fewer than 10 states have such an early deadline.

We need to look at the data first before we can discuss this.

House bill 270 Carries

Meeting Adjourned


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.

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