Georgia Legislature Can Enact Important Election Reforms

georgia_senatorial_election_results_by_county__2014As your constituent, I urge you to push in future legislative sessions for the following improvements to our elections, which could all be accomplished without changes to the United States Constitution:

  • Expanding voter registration and voting, including
    • ending restrictions on convicted felons and the incarcerated[1],[2]
    • relaxing voter identification requirements[3]
    • widening early and absentee voting[4]
    • facilitating voter registration by adopting Universal Voter Registration[5]
  • Providing more options for voters on their ballots by
    • easing ballot access for candidates from smaller political parties[6]
    • establishing Ranked Choice Voting, which ends voters’ having to choose between voting for the candidate they prefer and voting for the candidate whom they think can win so that the candidate they dislike the most doesn’t win[7]
    • allocating Georgia’s Electoral College votes in proportion to the popular election tallies in presidential elections[8]
  • Eliminating partisan gerrymandering, using measures such as those proposed in 2017-18 SR 6 & 7 and HR 2 & 3[9]
  • Legislating the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court of the United States unfortunately eliminated in Shelby Count v Holder in 2015.[10]
  • Ensuring integrity of election counts by standardizing voting machines, requiring paper trails and establishing robust recount procedures[11]

During the 2018 election season, I look forward to hearing your views on this topic.

 

[1] American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. Get Your Vote Back. https://www.acluga.org/en/campaigns/get-your-vote-back

[2] NJ.com. Let inmates vote from prison, N.J. lawmakers say. http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/02/nj_lawmakers_want_to_give_inmates_the_right_to_vot.html

[3] Brennan Center for Justice. Research on Voter ID. https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/research-and-publications-voter-id

[4] Brennan Center for Justice. Early Voting Under Attack in Georgia. https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/early-voting-under-attack-georgia

[5] FairVote. Universal Voter Registration. http://www.fairvote.org/universal_voter_registration#why_universal_voter_registration

[6] Ballot Access News. Georgia Ballot Access Bills Die. http://ballot-access.org/2018/03/03/georgia-ballot-access-bills-die/

[7] FairVote. Ranked Choice Voting / Instant Runoff. http://www.fairvote.org/rcv

[8] 270towin.com. Gaming the Electoral College. https://www.270towin.com/alternative-electoral-college-allocation-methods/

[9] Brinkley Serkedakis. Time to end gerrymandering of legislative districts. Athens Banner-Herald. 2016-Jul-11. http://www.onlineathens.com/opinion/2016-07-11/serkedakis-time-end-gerrymandering-legislative-districts

[10] Brennan Center for Justice. The Voting Rights Act: A Resource Page. https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-rights-act-resource-page

[11] VerifiedVoting.org. Media Release: Georgia: Election Integrity Experts Do Not Support the Current House Version of SB 403. https://www.verifiedvoting.org/election-integrity-experts-do-not-support-the-current-house-version-of-sb403/

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