Georgia State Summary

October 23, 2014



Georgia is improving accessibility at polling places and the training of poll workers, but it should also increase bi-lingual voting assistance and expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.

Satisfactory

States should adopt online voter registration (“OLVR”).

Online voter registration adopted.

Unsatisfactory

Interstate exchanges of voter information should be expanded.

Georgia is a member of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC), but not of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

Satisfactory

States should seamlessly integrate voter data acquired through DMVs with their statewide voter registration lists.

Georgia has fully implemented electronic voter registration systems with election officials, such that the entire process of sharing information between DMVs and election administrators is digital.

Satisfactory

Schools should be used as polling places; to address any related security concerns, Election Day should be an in-service day.

Georgia has strong statutory language regarding use of schools as polling places.

Mixed

States should consider establishing vote centers to achieve economies of scale in polling place management while also facilitating voting at convenient locations.

Georgia has considered legislation regarding vote centers, but has not passed any such legislation.

Mixed

Jurisdictions should develop models and tools to assist them in effectively allocating resources across polling places.

No statewide rule in place. However, we encourage jurisdictions to utilize the tools made available by the Commission. In 2012, voters waited an average of 17.8 minutes in line.

Satisfactory

Jurisdictions should transition to electronic pollbooks.

All jurisdictions in Georgia use electronic pollbooks.

Satisfactory

Jurisdictions should recruit public and private sector employees, as well as high school and college students, to become poll workers.

Sixteen is the minimum age to become a poll worker through the general process. We encourage election officials to establish robust programs to recruit public and private sector employees as well.

Mixed

States should institute poll worker training standards.

Georgia has some statutory language prescribing training for poll workers, but its Secretary of State’s website does not provide any manuals or videos regarding the training, and does not specifically address poll-working guidelines.

Mixed

Election authorities should establish advisory groups for voters with disabilities and for those with limited English proficiency.

Georgia has no statewide statutory policy in place. We encourage Georgia to adopt this recommendation of the Commission.

Mixed

States and localities must adopt comprehensive management practices to assure accessible polling places.

Georgia uses a DOJ-issued accessibility checklist, but does not appear to do more.

Mixed

States should survey and audit polling places to determine their accessibility.

Georgia requires polling places to meet accessibility standards, but does not have statewide statutory polling place survey or audit requirements in place.

Unsatisfactory

Jurisdictions should provide bilingual poll workers to any polling place with a significant number of voters who do not speak English.

Georgia (not covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act) law does not make assurances for bilingual poll workers; neither does the Secretary of State’s website.

Unsatisfactory

Jurisdictions should test all election materials for plain language and usability.

No statewide statutory policy in place to test for plain language and usability.

Satisfactory

States should expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.

Georgia allows early voting and no-fault absentee voting.

Satisfactory

States should provide ballots and registration materials to military and overseas voters via their websites.

A link to the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) is provided directly on Georgia’s website, as is a link to the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

N/A

The standard-setting and certification process for voting machines must be reformed.

N/A; a federal question.

Unsatisfactory

Audits of voting equipment must be conducted after each election as part of a comprehensive audit program, and data concerning machine performance must be publicly disclosed in a common data format.

Georgia has no state requirements for post-election audits.

Mixed

Local jurisdictions should gather and report voting-related transaction data for the purpose of improving the voter experience.

Georgia captures voter turnout by demographic, but does not appear to do more by way of data on wait times, frequent problems at polling places, etc.

READ: Did We Fix That? 2014 Georgia State Summary


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