Atlanta – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced today the formation of the Secretary of State’s Elections Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of experienced election officials and leaders from across Georgia, including city and county officials, county election directors, representatives from Democratic, Independent, Libertarian and Republican backgrounds, and members of the Georgia General Assembly.
Throughout 2011, the Council will review the Georgia Election Code and State Election Board Rules, and make recommendations that improve and strengthen Georgia’s election laws and procedures. The Council will look particularly at improvements that create cost savings and increase efficiencies for state, county and local governments.
“Georgia has taken tremendous steps to implement numerous safeguards and voting opportunities that make our elections among the most secure and accessible in the country,” said Secretary Kemp. “Though we are proud of the progress we have made to secure our elections and guarantee ballot access, I know there are always opportunities to improve our elections processes at all levels of government.”
The Elections Advisory Council is comprised of the following 16 election officials and leaders:
- Secretary of State Brian Kemp
- State Senator Cecil Staton (R – Macon)
- State Senator Hardie Davis (D – Augusta)
- State Representative Mark Hamilton (R – Cumming)
- State Representative Rusty Kidd (I – Milledgeville)
- Anne Lewis, General Counsel, Georgia Republican Party
- Mike Jablonski, General Counsel, Democratic Party of Georgia
- David Shock, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kennesaw State University
- Todd Blackwell, Baldwin County Probate Judge and Elections Superintendent
- Beth Kish, Elections and Registration Manager, Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration
- Deborah Marshall, Columbia County Elections Director
- Charlotte Sosebee, Hall County Interim Elections Director
- Nancy Boren, Director, Muscogee County Office of Elections and Voter Registration
- Jeff Sinyard, Dougherty County Commissioner
- Richard Barclift, Elections Superintendent, City of Chickamauga
- Charles Schwabe, Mayor, City of Swainsboro
The Council will conduct meetings throughout the State to receive input from the public, organizations, county elections directors and elected officials at all levels of government. In the interest of ensuring a transparent process, all suggestions and written materials submitted by Council members and the public will be placed on a dedicated Elections Advisory Council website. The Council will meet multiple times in 2011 and make recommendations for legislative or State Election Board rule changes that will be proposed in 2012.
Secretary Kemp added, “One of my key responsibilities as Georgia’s Secretary of State is to ensure the highest degrees of fairness, access, security and transparency in a non-partisan manner in all of our elections processes. The Elections Advisory Council and I look forward to hearing and sharing the views of Georgians on how we can all work together to accomplish these goals.”
Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January, 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.