HB 889 - Elections; inactive voters; removal from voting lists

First Reader Summary

A BILL to amend Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to registration of voters, so as to provide new methods for identifying and removing from voting lists inactive electors who have had no contact with the election process; to provide for maintenance of an inactive list of electors; and for other purposes.

Dixon, Sonny A (150th) (Resigned) Lee, William J (94th) Walker, Larry (141st)
Skipper, Jimmy (137th) Irvin, Robert A (45th) Hecht, Greg K (97th)
Status Summary HC: GAff SC: SLGO LA: 04/14/97 Signed by Governor
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17
Code Sections - 21-2-92/ 21-2-234/ 21-2-235/ 21-2-381/ 21-2-383/ 21-3-34/ 21-3-283
Recorded Votes
House Action Senate
3/4/97 Read 1st Time 3/17/97
3/6/97 Read 2nd Time 3/21/97
3/7/97 Favorably Reported 3/20/97
Sub Committee Amend/Sub Am
3/14/97 Read 3rd Time 3/24/97
3/14/97 Passed/Adopted 3/25/97
CSFA Comm/Floor Amend/Sub FSFA
3/27/97 Amend/Sub Agreed To
4/3/97 Sent to Governor
4/14/97 Signed by Governor
257 Act/Veto Number
1/1/98 Effective Date

HB 889                                              HB 889/AP 
 
      H. B. No. 889 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE) 
      By:  Representatives Dixon of the 150th, Lee of the 94th, 
      Walker of the 141st, Skipper of the 137th, Irvin of the 45th 
      and others 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1- 2  relating to elections, so as to provide for persons 16 years 
  1- 3  of age and older to be appointed as poll officers in all 
  1- 4  elections; to provide new methods for identifying and 
  1- 5  removing from voting lists inactive electors who have had no 
  1- 6  contact with the election process; to provide for 
  1- 7  maintenance of an inactive list of electors; to provide for 
  1- 8  procedures and limitations; to provide that absentee ballots 
  1- 9  and their return envelopes shall bear certain warnings 
  1-10  regarding election fraud; to provide for the mailing of 
  1-11  absentee ballots for general and special primaries and 
  1-12  elections held during the remainder of a calendar year upon 
  1-13  one proper application by any of certain eligible absentee 
  1-14  electors who are elderly or disabled; to amend Article 10 of 
  1-15  Chapter 3 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-16  Annotated, relating to absentee voting in municipal 
  1-17  elections, so as to provide for the mailing of absentee 
  1-18  ballots for general and special primaries and elections held 
  1-19  during the remainder of a calendar year upon one proper 
  1-20  application by certain eligible absentee electors who are 
  1-21  elderly or disabled; to authorize the promulgation of rules 
  1-22  and regulations by the Secretary of State governing the 
  1-23  foregoing; to provide for related matters; to provide for an 
  1-24  effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other 
  1-25  purposes. 
 
  1-26       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-27                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-28  Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  1-29  to elections, is amended by striking in its entirety Code 
  1-30  Section 21-2-92, relating to qualifications of poll officers 
  1-31  in elections and primaries generally, and inserting in lieu 
  1-32  thereof a new Code Section 21-2-92 to read as follows: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1    "21-2-92. 
 
  2- 2    Poll officers appointed pursuant to Code Sections 21-2-90 
  2- 3    and 21-2-91 shall be judicious, intelligent, and upright 
  2- 4    electors citizens of the United States, residents of the 
  2- 5    county in which they are appointed, 16 years of age or 
  2- 6    over, and shall be able to read, write, and speak the 
  2- 7    English language.  No poll officer shall be eligible for 
  2- 8    any nomination or public office or to be voted for at a 
  2- 9    primary or election at which the poll officer shall serve. 
  2-10    No person who is otherwise holding public office, other 
  2-11    than a political party office, shall be eligible to be 
  2-12    appointed as or to serve as a poll officer.  A parent, 
  2-13    spouse, child, brother, sister, father-in-law, 
  2-14    mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, 
  2-15    brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of a candidate shall not 
  2-16    be eligible to serve as a poll officer in any precinct in 
  2-17    which such candidate's name appears on the ballot in any 
  2-18    primary or election." 
 
  2-19                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2-20  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
  2-21  21-2-234, relating to inactive electors and procedures 
  2-22  related thereto, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code 
  2-23  section to read as follows: 
 
  2-24    "21-2-234. 
 
  2-25      (a)(1) As used in this Code section and Code Section 
  2-26      21-2-235, the term 'no contact' shall mean that the 
  2-27      elector has not voted in any election, has not filed an 
  2-28      updated voter registration card, has not filed a change 
  2-29      of name or address, has not signed a petition which is 
  2-30      required by law to be verified by the election 
  2-31      superintendent of a county or municipality or the 
  2-32      Secretary of State, has not signed a voter's 
  2-33      certificate, and has not confirmed the elector's 
  2-34      continuation at the same address during the preceding 
  2-35      three calendar years. 
 
  2-36      (2) In the first six months of Beginning in 1997, prior 
  2-37      to February 1 of each odd-numbered year, the Secretary 
  2-38      of State shall identify all electors whose names appear 
  2-39      on the list of electors with whom there has been no 
  2-40      contact during the preceding three calendar years and 
  2-41      who were not identified as changing addresses under Code 
  2-42      Section 21-2-233.  The Secretary of State shall cause 
  2-43      the confirmation notice described in this Code section 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1      to shall be sent to each such elector prior to March 1 
  3- 2      of during each odd-numbered year.  Such notices shall be 
  3- 3      sent by forwardable, first-class mail. 
 
  3- 4    (b) When mailings to electors whose names appear on the 
  3- 5    list of electors, including, but not limited to, 
  3- 6    acknowledgments under Code Section 21-2-226, are returned 
  3- 7    undeliverable by the United States Postal Service, the 
  3- 8    Secretary of State shall cause the confirmation notice 
  3- 9    described in this Code section to shall be sent to such 
  3-10    electors. 
 
  3-11    (c) The confirmation notice shall be a postage prepaid, 
  3-12    preaddressed return card on which an elector may state 
  3-13    such elector's current address and which also includes a 
  3-14    notice which states substantially the following: 
 
  3-15      (1) If the elector has not changed addresses or has 
  3-16      changed addresses within the county in which the elector 
  3-17      is currently registered, the elector must return the 
  3-18      card with the updated information, if any, no later than 
  3-19      the close of business on the fourth Friday prior to the 
  3-20      next general primary or general election for federal 
  3-21      offices or presidential preference primary, whichever 
  3-22      comes first; within 30 days after the date of the 
  3-23      notice; and 
 
  3-24      (2) If the card is not returned, the elector will be 
  3-25      required to affirm or confirm the elector's address 
  3-26      before voting in any election beginning on the date of 
  3-27      the notice and ending on the day after the second 
  3-28      November election which occurs after the date of the 
  3-29      notice; and within 30 days after the date of the notice, 
  3-30      the elector's name shall be transferred to the inactive 
  3-31      list of electors provided for in Code Section 21-2-235.  
 
  3-32      (3) If the elector does not vote in an election during 
  3-33      the period beginning on the date of the notice and 
  3-34      ending on the day after the second November election 
  3-35      which occurs after the date of the notice, the elector's 
  3-36      name will be removed from the list of electors. 
 
  3-37    (d) If the elector returns the card and shows that he or 
  3-38    she has changed residence to a place outside of the 
  3-39    boundaries of the county in which the elector is currently 
  3-40    registered, the elector's name shall be removed from the 
  3-41    list of electors and information shall be sent to the 
  3-42    elector explaining how the elector can continue to be 
  3-43    eligible to vote. 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1    (e) If the elector returns the card and states that the 
  4- 2    elector has changed residences within the county in which 
  4- 3    the elector is currently registered, the elector shall 
  4- 4    remain on the list of electors, the registration records 
  4- 5    shall be corrected to reflect such new address, and a new 
  4- 6    voter identification card shall be issued pursuant to Code 
  4- 7    Section 21-2-226. 
 
  4- 8    (e)(f) If such elector returns the card and confirms that 
  4- 9    such elector continues to reside at the current address at 
  4-10    which such elector is registered, the fact of such 
  4-11    confirmation shall be recorded and the elector shall 
  4-12    remain on the list of electors. If the elector returns the 
  4-13    card and states that the elector has changed residences 
  4-14    within the county in which the elector is currently 
  4-15    registered, the elector shall remain on the list of 
  4-16    electors, the registration records shall be corrected to 
  4-17    reflect such new address, and a new voter identification 
  4-18    card shall be issued pursuant to Code Section 21-2-226.  
 
  4-19    (f) If the elector returns the card and states that the 
  4-20    elector has changed addresses outside of the boundaries in 
  4-21    which the elector is currently registered to vote, the 
  4-22    elector's name shall be removed from the list of electors. 
 
  4-23    (g) If the elector fails to return the card within 30 days 
  4-24    after the date of the notice, the elector shall be 
  4-25    transferred to the inactive list provided for in Code 
  4-26    Section 21-2-235. 
 
  4-27    (h) Nothing in this Code section shall prevent the removal 
  4-28    from the list of electors of an elector for ineligibility 
  4-29    to vote. 
 
  4-30    (i) List maintenance activities pursuant to this Code 
  4-31    section and Code Section 21-2-233 shall be completed not 
  4-32    later than 90 days prior to a general primary or general 
  4-33    election for federal offices or a presidential preference 
  4-34    primary.  This subsection shall not apply to notices sent 
  4-35    pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section." 
 
  4-36                           SECTION 3. 
 
  4-37  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
  4-38  21-2-235, relating to an inactive list of electors, and 
  4-39  inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as 
  4-40  follows: 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1    "21-2-235. 
 
  5- 2    (a) In addition to the official list of electors, the 
  5- 3    Secretary of State shall also maintain an inactive list of 
  5- 4    electors.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to 
  5- 5    the contrary, the names of electors on the inactive list 
  5- 6    of electors shall not be counted in computing the number 
  5- 7    of ballots required for an election, the number of voting 
  5- 8    machines or vote recorders needed for a precinct, the 
  5- 9    number of electors required to divide or constitute a 
  5-10    precinct, or the number of signatures needed on any 
  5-11    petition.  However, any elector whose name appears on the 
  5-12    inactive list shall be eligible to sign a petition and 
  5-13    such petition signature, if valid, shall be sufficient to 
  5-14    return the elector to the official list of electors if the 
  5-15    elector still resides at the address listed on the 
  5-16    elector's registration records and shall be grounds to 
  5-17    proceed under Code Section 21-2-234 to confirm the change 
  5-18    of address of the elector if the elector provides a 
  5-19    different address from the address which appears on the 
  5-20    elector's registration records. 
 
  5-21    (b) An elector placed on the inactive list of electors 
  5-22    shall remain on such list until the day after the second 
  5-23    November general election held after the elector is placed 
  5-24    on the inactive list of electors.  If the elector does not 
  5-25    vote in any election held makes no contact, as defined in 
  5-26    Code Section 21-2-234, during that period, the elector 
  5-27    shall be removed from the inactive list of electors. 
 
  5-28    (c) An elector whose name is on the inactive list of 
  5-29    electors may vote: 
 
  5-30      (1) If the elector has not changed residences, at the 
  5-31      polling place of such elector's last address upon 
  5-32      affirming in writing that such elector still resides at 
  5-33      the address shown on such elector's registration 
  5-34      records; 
 
  5-35      (2) If the elector has moved to an address within the 
  5-36      county in the same precinct, such elector may vote at 
  5-37      the polling place of such elector's last address upon 
  5-38      affirming in writing that such elector resides in the 
  5-39      county by completing a change of address card affirming 
  5-40      the new address within the county; or 
 
  5-41      (3) If the elector has moved to an address within the 
  5-42      county in a different precinct, such elector may vote at 
  5-43      the polling place of such elector's last address, for 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1      that election and any runoffs resulting from such 
  6- 2      election only, upon affirming in writing that such 
  6- 3      elector still resides in the county and completing a 
  6- 4      change of address card affirming the new address within 
  6- 5      the county. 
 
  6- 6    (d) If an elector whose name appears on the inactive list 
  6- 7    of electors appears at the polls and votes as provided 
  6- 8    under subsection (c) of this Code section, the board of 
  6- 9    registrars shall transfer the elector's name back to the 
  6-10    official list of electors and shall make any necessary 
  6-11    corrections in the elector's registration records. 
 
  6-12    (e) In addition to the official list of electors provided 
  6-13    to each polling place, there shall also be provided an 
  6-14    inactive list of electors." 
 
  6-15                           SECTION 4. 
 
  6-16  Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety 
  6-17  Code Section 21-2-381, relating to application for absentee 
  6-18  ballots, eligibility determination, furnishing applications 
  6-19  to colleges and universities, and persons entitled to apply, 
  6-20  and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as 
  6-21  follows: 
 
  6-22    "21-2-381. 
 
  6-23      (a)(1) Not more than 180 days prior to the date of the 
  6-24      primary or election, or runoff of either, in which the 
  6-25      elector desires to vote, any absentee elector may make, 
  6-26      either by mail, by facsimile transmission, or in person 
  6-27      in the registrar's office, an application to the board 
  6-28      of registrars of the county of the elector's residence 
  6-29      for an official ballot of the elector's precinct to be 
  6-30      voted at such primary, election, or runoff.  In the case 
  6-31      of an elector residing temporarily out of the county or 
  6-32      a physically disabled elector residing within the 
  6-33      county, the application for the elector's absentee 
  6-34      ballot may, upon satisfactory proof of relationship, be 
  6-35      made by such elector's mother, father, grandparent, 
  6-36      aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, daughter, 
  6-37      niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, 
  6-38      mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or 
  6-39      sister-in-law of the age of 18 or over.  The application 
  6-40      shall be in writing and shall contain sufficient 
  6-41      information for proper identification of the elector; 
  6-42      the permanent or temporary address of the elector to 
  6-43      which the absentee ballot shall be mailed; the identity 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1      of the primary, election, or runoff in which the elector 
  7- 2      wishes to vote; the reason for requesting the absentee 
  7- 3      ballot; and the name and relationship of the person 
  7- 4      requesting the ballot if other than the elector.  Except 
  7- 5      in the case of physically disabled electors residing in 
  7- 6      the county, no absentee ballot shall be mailed to an 
  7- 7      address other than the permanent mailing address of the 
  7- 8      elector as recorded on the elector's voter registration 
  7- 9      record or a temporary out of county address.  Relatives 
  7-10      applying for absentee ballots for electors must also 
  7-11      sign an oath stating that facts in the application are 
  7-12      true.  If the elector is unable to fill out or sign such 
  7-13      elector's own application because of illiteracy or 
  7-14      physical disability, the elector shall make such 
  7-15      elector's mark, and the person filling in the rest of 
  7-16      the application shall sign such person's name below it 
  7-17      as a witness; provided, however, that one timely and 
  7-18      proper application for an absentee ballot for use in a 
  7-19      primary shall be sufficient to require the mailing of 
  7-20      the absentee ballot to: (A) an eligible absentee elector 
  7-21      who lives outside the county in which the election is 
  7-22      held and is also a member of the armed forces of the 
  7-23      United States, a member of the merchant marine of the 
  7-24      United States, or a spouse or dependent of a member of 
  7-25      the armed forces or the merchant marine residing with or 
  7-26      accompanying said member or overseas citizen; or (B) any 
  7-27      elector meeting criteria of advanced age or disability 
  7-28      specified by rule or regulation of the Secretary of 
  7-29      State for such primary as well as for any runoffs 
  7-30      resulting therefrom and for the election for which such 
  7-31      primary shall nominate candidates.  Further, such 
  7-32      application for an absentee ballot to be used in any 
  7-33      election shall be sufficient to require the mailing of 
  7-34      an absentee ballot for any runoffs resulting from such 
  7-35      election.  In any event, a separate and distinct 
  7-36      application for an absentee ballot shall be required for 
  7-37      the presidential preference primary held pursuant to 
  7-38      Article 5 of this chapter and for any special election 
  7-39      or special primary. 
 
  7-40      (2) A properly executed registration card submitted 
  7-41      under the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 
  7-42      21-2-219, if submitted within 180 days of a primary or 
  7-43      election in which the registrant is entitled to vote, 
  7-44      shall be considered to be an application for an absentee 
  7-45      ballot under this Code section, or for a special 
 
 
 
                                 -7- 
 
 
 
  8- 1      absentee ballot under Code Section 21-2-381.1, as 
  8- 2      appropriate. 
 
  8- 3    (b) Upon receipt of a timely application, a registrar 
  8- 4    shall enter thereon the date received and shall determine 
  8- 5    if the applicant is eligible to vote in the primary or 
  8- 6    election involved.  If found eligible, the registrar shall 
  8- 7    certify by signing in the proper place on the application 
  8- 8    and shall either mail the ballot as provided in this Code 
  8- 9    section or issue the ballot to the elector to be voted 
  8-10    within the confines of the registrar's office or deliver 
  8-11    the ballot in person to the elector if such elector is 
  8-12    confined to a hospital. If found ineligible, the board of 
  8-13    registrars shall deny the application by writing the 
  8-14    reason for rejection in the proper space on the 
  8-15    application and shall promptly notify the applicant in 
  8-16    writing of the ground of ineligibility, a copy of which 
  8-17    notification should be retained on file in the office of 
  8-18    the board of registrars for at least one year.  If the 
  8-19    registrar is unable to determine the identity of the 
  8-20    elector from information given on the application, the 
  8-21    registrar should promptly write to request additional 
  8-22    information.  In the case of an unregistered applicant who 
  8-23    is eligible to register to vote, the board shall 
  8-24    immediately mail a blank registration card as provided by 
  8-25    Code Section 21-2-223, and such applicant, if otherwise 
  8-26    qualified, shall be deemed eligible to vote by absentee 
  8-27    ballot in such primary or election, if the registration 
  8-28    card, properly completed, is returned to the board on or 
  8-29    before the last day for registering to vote in such 
  8-30    primary or election.  If the closing date for registration 
  8-31    in the primary or election concerned has not passed, the 
  8-32    registrar shall also mail a ballot to the applicant, as 
  8-33    soon as it is prepared and available; and the ballot shall 
  8-34    be cast in such primary or election if returned to the 
  8-35    board not later than the close of the polls on the day of 
  8-36    the primary or election concerned. 
 
  8-37    (c) In those counties in which the board of registrars 
  8-38    provides application forms for absentee ballots, the board 
  8-39    shall provide such quantity of the application form to the 
  8-40    dean of each college or university located in that county 
  8-41    as said dean determines necessary for the students of his 
  8-42    such college or university. 
 
  8-43      (d)(1) A citizen of the United States permanently 
  8-44      residing outside the United States is entitled to make 
 
 
 
                                 -8- 
 
 
 
  9- 1      application for an absentee ballot from Georgia and to 
  9- 2      vote by absentee ballot in any election for presidential 
  9- 3      electors and United States senator or representative in 
  9- 4      Congress: 
 
  9- 5        (A) If he such citizen was last domiciled in Georgia 
  9- 6        immediately before his departure from the United 
  9- 7        States; and 
 
  9- 8        (B) If he such citizen could have met all 
  9- 9        qualifications, except any qualification relating to 
  9-10        minimum voting age, to vote in federal elections even 
  9-11        though, while residing outside the United States, he 
  9-12        or she does not have a place of abode or other address 
  9-13        in Georgia. 
 
  9-14      (2) An individual is entitled to make application for an 
  9-15      absentee ballot under paragraph (1) of this subsection 
  9-16      even if his such individual's intent to return to 
  9-17      Georgia may be uncertain, as long as: 
 
  9-18        (A) He or she has complied with all applicable Georgia 
  9-19        qualifications and requirements which are consistent 
  9-20        with 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff concerning absentee 
  9-21        registration for and voting by absentee ballots; 
 
  9-22        (B) He or she does not maintain a domicile, is not 
  9-23        registered to vote, and is not voting in any other 
  9-24        state or election district of a state or territory or 
  9-25        in any territory or possession of the United States; 
  9-26        and 
 
  9-27        (C) He or she has a valid passport or card of identity 
  9-28        and registration issued under the authority of the 
  9-29        Secretary of State of the United States or, in lieu 
  9-30        thereof, an alternative form of identification 
  9-31        consistent with 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff and 
  9-32        applicable state requirements, if a citizen does not 
  9-33        possess a valid passport or card of identity and 
  9-34        registration. 
 
  9-35    (e) The Secretary of State is authorized to promulgate 
  9-36    reasonable rules and regulations for the implementation of 
  9-37    paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section. 
  9-38    Said rules and regulations may include provisions for the 
  9-39    limitation of opportunities for fraudulent application, 
  9-40    including, but not limited to, comparison of voter 
  9-41    registration records with death certificates." 
 
 
 
 
                                 -9- 
 
 
 
 10- 1                           SECTION 5. 
 
 10- 2  Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety 
 10- 3  Code Section 21-2-383, relating to preparation and delivery 
 10- 4  of absentee ballots and form of ballots, and inserting in 
 10- 5  lieu thereof a new Code Section 21-2-383 to read as follows: 
 
 10- 6    "21-2-383. 
 
 10- 7    Ballots for use by absentee electors shall be prepared 
 10- 8    sufficiently in advance by the superintendent and shall be 
 10- 9    delivered to the board of registrars as provided in Code 
 10-10    Section 21-2-384. Such ballots shall be marked 'Official 
 10-11    Absentee Ballot' and shall be in substantially the form 
 10-12    for ballots required by Article 8 of this chapter, except 
 10-13    that in counties using voting machines or vote recorders 
 10-14    the ballots may be in substantially the form for the 
 10-15    ballot labels required by Article 9 of this chapter or in 
 10-16    such form as will allow the ballot to be machine 
 10-17    tabulated. Every such ballot shall have printed on the 
 10-18    face thereof the following: 'I understand that the offer 
 10-19    or acceptance of money or any other object of value to 
 10-20    vote for any particular candidate, list of candidates, 
 10-21    issue, or list of issues included in this election 
 10-22    constitutes an act of voter fraud and is a felony under 
 10-23    Georgia law.'  The form for either ballot shall be 
 10-24    determined and prescribed by the Secretary of State." 
 
 10-25                           SECTION 6. 
 
 10-26  Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety 
 10-27  subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-384, relating to the 
 10-28  preparation and delivery of supplies, mailing of ballots, 
 10-29  oath of absentee electors and persons assisting absentee 
 10-30  electors, master list of ballots sent, and challenges in 
 10-31  elections and primaries generally, and inserting in lieu 
 10-32  thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows: 
 
 10-33    "(c) The oaths referred to in subsection (b) of this Code 
 10-34    section shall be in substantially the following form: 
 
 10-35      I, the undersigned, do swear (or affirm) that I am a 
 10-36      citizen of the United States and of the State of 
 10-37      Georgia; that my residence address is 
 10-38      _______________________ County, Georgia; that I possess 
 10-39      the qualifications of an elector required by the laws of 
 10-40      the State of Georgia; that I am entitled to vote in the 
 10-41      precinct containing my residence in the primary or 
 10-42      election in which this ballot is to be cast; that I am 
 
 
 
                                 -10- 
 
 
 
 11- 1      eligible to vote by absentee ballot; that I have not 
 11- 2      marked or mailed any other absentee ballot, nor will I 
 11- 3      mark or mail another absentee ballot for voting in such 
 11- 4      primary or election; nor shall I vote therein in person; 
 11- 5      and that I have read and understand the instructions 
 11- 6      accompanying this ballot; and that I have carefully 
 11- 7      complied with such instructions in completing this 
 11- 8      ballot. I understand that the offer or acceptance of 
 11- 9      money or any other object of value to vote for any 
 11-10      particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list 
 11-11      of issues included in this election constitutes an act 
 11-12      of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law. 
 
 
 11-13      ____________________            ________________________ 
 11-14      Elector's Residence             Elector's Place of Birth 
 11-15          Address 
 
 11-16      ____________________            ________________________ 
 11-17        Month and Day of               Maiden Name of Mother 
 11-18        Elector's Birth                     of Elector 
 
 
 
 
 11-19      Oath of Person Assisting Elector (if any): 
 
 11-20      I, the undersigned, do swear (or affirm) that I assisted 
 11-21      the above-named elector in marking such elector's 
 11-22      absentee ballot as such elector personally communicated 
 11-23      such elector's preference to me; that I am satisfied 
 11-24      that such elector presently possesses the disability 
 11-25      noted below; and that by reason of such disability such 
 11-26      elector is entitled to receive assistance in voting 
 11-27      under provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 
 11-28      21-2-409. 
 
 11-29      This, the ______ day of _________________, 19__. 
 
 
 
 
 
 11-30      Reason for assistance (Check appropriate square): 
 
 11-31      ( ) Elector is unable to read the English language. 
 
 11-32      ( ) Elector has following physical disability 
 11-33      _____________. 
 
 
 
 
                                 -11- 
 
 
 
 12- 1    The forms upon which such oaths are printed shall contain 
 12- 2    the following information: 
 
 12- 3      Georgia law provides, in subsection (b) of Code Section 
 12- 4      21-2-409, that no person shall assist more than ten 
 12- 5      electors in any primary or election. 
 
 12- 6      Georgia law further provides that any person who 
 12- 7      knowingly falsifies information so as to vote illegally 
 12- 8      by absentee ballot or who illegally gives or receives 
 12- 9      assistance in voting, as specified in Code Section 
 12-10      21-2-568, 21-2-573, or 21-2-579, shall be guilty of a 
 12-11      misdemeanor." 
 
 12-12                           SECTION 7. 
 
 12-13  Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety 
 12-14  Code Section 21-3-34, relating to qualifications of poll 
 12-15  officers in municipal elections, and inserting in lieu 
 12-16  thereof a new Code Section 21-3-34 to read as follows: 
 
 12-17    "21-3-34. 
 
 12-18    (a) Poll officers shall be electors citizens of the United 
 12-19    States, residents of the municipality in which they are 
 12-20    appointed or the county in which the municipality is 
 12-21    located, 16 years of age or older, and shall be able to 
 12-22    read, write, and speak the English language.  No poll 
 12-23    officer shall be eligible to any nomination or public 
 12-24    office to be voted for at a primary or election in which 
 12-25    such poll officer shall serve.  No person who is otherwise 
 12-26    holding public office, other than a political party 
 12-27    office, shall be eligible to be appointed as or to serve 
 12-28    as a poll officer.  A parent, spouse, child, brother, 
 12-29    sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, 
 12-30    daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of a 
 12-31    candidate shall not be eligible to serve as a municipal 
 12-32    poll officer in any precinct in which such candidate's 
 12-33    name appears on the ballot in any primary or election. 
 
 12-34    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of 
 12-35    this Code section, in the event that a municipal primary 
 12-36    or election is held in conjunction with a regular county, 
 12-37    state, or federal election, poll officers assigned by the 
 12-38    county election superintendent to conduct such county, 
 12-39    state, or federal election shall also be authorized to 
 12-40    serve as poll officers to conduct such municipal election 
 12-41    or primary and shall not be required to be residents of 
 12-42    said municipality." 
 
 
 
                                 -12- 
 
 
 
 13- 1                           SECTION 8. 
 
 13- 2  Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety 
 13- 3  Code Section 21-3-283, relating to application for an 
 13- 4  absentee ballot, eligibility determination, delivery of 
 13- 5  ballots to eligible applicants, and notice to rejected 
 13- 6  applicants, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section 
 13- 7  to read as follows: 
 
 13- 8    "21-3-283. 
 
 13- 9    (a) Any absentee elector may make an application either by 
 13-10    mail, by facsimile transmission, or in person in the 
 13-11    absentee ballot clerk's office to the absentee ballot 
 13-12    clerk for an official ballot of the elector's precinct to 
 13-13    be voted at such primary or election.  In the case of an 
 13-14    elector residing temporarily out of the municipality and 
 13-15    the county in which the absentee elector permanently 
 13-16    resides or a physically disabled elector residing within 
 13-17    the municipality, the application for the elector's 
 13-18    absentee ballot may, upon satisfactory proof of 
 13-19    relationship, be made by such elector's mother, father, 
 13-20    grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, 
 13-21    daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, 
 13-22    daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, 
 13-23    brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of the age of 18 or over. 
 13-24    The application shall be in writing and shall contain 
 13-25    sufficient information for proper identification of the 
 13-26    elector; the permanent or temporary address of the elector 
 13-27    to which the absentee ballot shall be mailed; the identity 
 13-28    of the primary, election, or runoff in which the elector 
 13-29    wishes to vote; the reason for requesting the absentee 
 13-30    ballot; and the name and relationship of the person 
 13-31    requesting the ballot if other than the elector.  No 
 13-32    absentee ballot shall be mailed to an address other than 
 13-33    the elector's permanent address as recorded on the 
 13-34    elector's voter registration record or temporary address 
 13-35    outside of the municipality.  Relatives applying for 
 13-36    absentee ballots for electors must also sign an oath 
 13-37    stating that facts in the application are true.  If the 
 13-38    elector is unable to fill out or sign such elector's own 
 13-39    application because of illiteracy or physical disability, 
 13-40    the elector shall make such elector's mark, and the person 
 13-41    filling in the rest of the application shall sign such 
 13-42    person's name below it as a witness. 
 
 13-43    (b) One timely and proper application for an absentee 
 13-44    ballot for use in a primary shall be sufficient to require 
 
 
                                 -13- 
 
 
 
 14- 1    the mailing of the absentee ballot to: (1) an eligible 
 14- 2    absentee elector who lives outside the county in which the 
 14- 3    election is held and is also a member of the armed forces 
 14- 4    of the United States, a member of the merchant marine of 
 14- 5    the United States, or a spouse or dependent of a member of 
 14- 6    the armed forces or the merchant marine residing with or 
 14- 7    accompanying said member,; or (2) any elector meeting 
 14- 8    criteria of advanced age or disability specified by rule 
 14- 9    or regulation of the Secretary of State for such primary 
 14-10    as well as for any runoffs resulting therefrom and for the 
 14-11    election for which such primary shall nominate candidates. 
 14-12    Further, such application for an absentee ballot to be 
 14-13    used in any election shall be sufficient to require the 
 14-14    mailing of an absentee ballot for any runoffs resulting 
 14-15    from such an election. In any event, a separate and 
 14-16    distinct application for an absentee ballot shall be 
 14-17    required for any special election or special primary. 
 
 14-18    (c) Upon receipt of a timely application, the absentee 
 14-19    ballot clerk shall enter thereon the date received and 
 14-20    shall determine if the applicant is eligible to vote in 
 14-21    the primary or election involved. If found eligible, the 
 14-22    absentee ballot clerk shall certify by signing in the 
 14-23    proper place on the application and either mail the 
 14-24    ballot, as provided in Code Section 21-3-284, issue the 
 14-25    ballot to the elector to be voted within the confines of 
 14-26    the absentee ballot clerk's office, or deliver the ballot 
 14-27    in person to the elector if he or she is confined to a 
 14-28    hospital. If found ineligible, the clerk shall deny the 
 14-29    application by writing the reason for the rejection in the 
 14-30    proper space on the application and shall promptly notify 
 14-31    the applicant in writing of the ground of his or her 
 14-32    ineligibility, a copy of which should be retained on file 
 14-33    in the office of the absentee ballot clerk. If the 
 14-34    absentee ballot clerk is unable to determine the identity 
 14-35    of the elector from information given on the application, 
 14-36    he the clerk should  promptly write to request additional 
 14-37    information. 
 
 14-38    (d) The Secretary of State is authorized to promulgate 
 14-39    reasonable rules and regulations for the implementation of 
 14-40    subsection (b) of this Code section. Said rules and 
 14-41    regulations may include provisions for the limitation of 
 14-42    opportunities for fraudulent application, including, but 
 14-43    not limited to, comparison of voter registration records 
 14-44    with death certificates." 
 
 
 
                                 -14- 
 
 
 
 15- 1                           SECTION 9. 
 
 15- 2  Said title is further amended by striking in their entirety 
 15- 3  subsections (a) and (d) of Code Section 21-3-284, relating 
 15- 4  to the form of absentee ballots, preparation and delivery of 
 15- 5  supplies, mailing of ballots, oath of absentee electors and 
 15- 6  persons assisting absentee electors, and list of ballots 
 15- 7  sent in municipal elections, and inserting in lieu thereof 
 15- 8  new subsections (a) and (d) to read as follows: 
 
 15- 9    "(a) The ballots shall be marked 'Official Absentee 
 15-10    Ballot' and shall be in substantially the form for ballots 
 15-11    required by Article 8 of this chapter, except that in 
 15-12    municipalities using voting machines or vote recorders the 
 15-13    ballots may be in substantially the form for ballot labels 
 15-14    required by Article 9 of this chapter or in such form as 
 15-15    will allow the ballots to be machine tabulated. Every such 
 15-16    ballot shall have printed on the face thereof the 
 15-17    following: 'I understand that the offer or acceptance of 
 15-18    money or any other object of value to vote for any 
 15-19    particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list 
 15-20    of issues included in this election constitutes an act of 
 15-21    voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law.' The form 
 15-22    for absentee ballots shall be determined and prescribed by 
 15-23    the superintendent, except that the Secretary of State 
 15-24    shall determine and prescribe the form for ballots not 
 15-25    following the paper ballot format." 
 
 15-26    "(d) The oaths referred to in subsection (c) of this Code 
 15-27    section shall be in substantially the following form: 
 
 15-28      I, the undersigned, do swear (or affirm) that I am a 
 15-29      citizen of the United States and of the State of 
 15-30      Georgia; that my residence address is __________ City, 
 15-31      __________ County, Georgia; that I possess the 
 15-32      qualifications of an elector required by the laws of the 
 15-33      State of Georgia; that I am entitled to vote in the 
 15-34      precinct containing my residence in the primary or 
 15-35      election in which this ballot is to be cast; that I am 
 15-36      eligible to vote by absentee ballot; that I have not 
 15-37      marked or mailed any other absentee ballot; nor will I 
 15-38      mark or mail another absentee ballot for voting in such 
 15-39      primary or election, nor shall I vote there therein in 
 15-40      person; and that I have read and understand the 
 15-41      instructions accompanying this ballot and that I have 
 15-42      carefully complied with such instructions in completing 
 15-43      this ballot. I understand that the offer or acceptance 
 15-44      of money or any other object of value to vote for any 
 
 
                                 -15- 
 
 
 
 16- 1      particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list 
 16- 2      of issues included in this election constitutes an act 
 16- 3      of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 16- 4      Oath of Person Assisting Elector (if any): 
 
 16- 5      I, the undersigned, do swear (or affirm) that I assisted 
 16- 6      the above-named elector in marking such elector's 
 16- 7      absentee ballot as such elector personally communicated 
 16- 8      such elector's preference to me, that I am satisfied 
 16- 9      that such elector presently possesses the disability 
 16-10      noted below, and that by reason of such disability such 
 16-11      elector is entitled to receive assistance in voting 
 16-12      under provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 
 16-13      21-3-318. 
 
 16-14      This, the ______ day of _________________, 19__. 
 
 
 
 
 
 16-15      Reason for assistance (check appropriate square): 
 
 16-16      ( ) Elector is unable to read the English language. 
 
 16-17      ( ) Elector has the following physical disability 
 16-18      _____________. 
 
 16-19    The forms upon which such oaths are printed shall contain 
 16-20    the following language: 
 
 16-21      Georgia law provides that no person shall assist more 
 16-22      than ten electors in any primary or election. 
 16-23      (Subsection (c) of Code Section 21-3-318.) 
 
 16-24      Georgia law further provides that any person violating 
 16-25      the Georgia Municipal Election Code shall be guilty of a 
 16-26      misdemeanor." 
 
 
 
                                 -16- 
 
 
 
 17- 1                          SECTION 10. 
 
 17- 2  This Act shall become effective on January 1, 1998. 
 
 17- 3                          SECTION 11. 
 
 17- 4  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
 17- 5  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -17- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98