HB 976 - Hancock County; board of elections and registration; create

First Reader Summary

A BILL to create a board of elections and registration for Hancock County; and for other purposes.

Hudson, Sistie G (120th)
Status Summary HC: LLeg SC: SLGO LA: 03/18/97 S - Read 1st Time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7
House Action Senate
3/13/97 Read 1st Time 3/18/97
3/14/97 Read 2nd Time
3/17/97 Favorably Reported
3/17/97 Read 3rd Time
3/17/97 Passed/Adopted

HB 976                                             LC 26 0341 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To create a board of elections and registration for Hancock 
  1- 2  County; to define the powers and duties of the board 
  1- 3  concerning primaries and elections; to provide a method for 
  1- 4  appointment, resignation, and removal of members of the 
  1- 5  board; to provide for qualifications and terms of members of 
  1- 6  the board; to provide for powers and duties of the board; to 
  1- 7  provide for board organization and regulation; to provide 
  1- 8  for the expenditure of public funds by the board; to relieve 
  1- 9  the election superintendent and the board of registrars of 
  1-10  certain powers and duties; to provide for board contracts; 
  1-11  to provide for definitions; to provide for a chair, clerical 
  1-12  assistants, and other employees; to provide for compensation 
  1-13  for such persons and the members of the board; to require 
  1-14  certain submissions; to provide an effective date; to repeal 
  1-15  conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1-16       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-17                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-18  There is created a board of elections and registration for 
  1-19  Hancock County which shall have jurisdiction over the 
  1-20  conduct of primaries and elections in Hancock County. 
 
  1-21                           SECTION 2. 
 
  1-22  (a) The board of elections and registration shall be 
  1-23  composed of five members, each of whom shall be an elector 
  1-24  and resident of the county, and who shall be appointed by 
  1-25  the grand jury of Hancock County.  The initial members of 
  1-26  said board shall be appointed as follows by the grand jury 
  1-27  in session at the time of approval of this Act by the 
  1-28  Governor: one member shall be appointed from a list of three 
  1-29  nominees submitted by the Democratic Party of Hancock 
  1-30  County; one member shall be appointed from a list of three 
  1-31  nominees submitted by the Republican Party of Hancock 
  1-32  County; one member shall be appointed from a list of three 
  1-33  nominees submitted by the Board of Commissioners of Hancock 
  1-34  County; one member shall be appointed from a list of three 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1  nominees submitted by the Board of Education of Hancock 
  2- 2  County, and one member shall be appointed from a list of 
  2- 3  three nominees submitted by the governing authority of the 
  2- 4  City of Sparta.  All nominees shall have the qualifications 
  2- 5  of registrars and deputy registrars as provided by law. 
  2- 6  Succeeding members of said board shall be appointed by the 
  2- 7  last regularly scheduled grand jury convening preceding the 
  2- 8  date on which such member is to take office. In the event of 
  2- 9  a failure of one or more of the nominating entities to make 
  2-10  nominations, the members otherwise selected by the grand 
  2-11  jury shall submit the names of three nominees to the grand 
  2-12  jury in lieu of the three nominees to have been submitted by 
  2-13  each such entity. 
 
  2-14  (b) Initial appointments to the Hancock County Board of 
  2-15  Elections and Registration shall be made as soon as is 
  2-16  practicable after the effective date of this Act, and 
  2-17  members appointed for these initial terms shall serve until 
  2-18  December 31, 1998; thereafter, appointees to the board shall 
  2-19  serve for four-year terms.  All appointees shall serve until 
  2-20  the appointment and qualification of their respective 
  2-21  successors. 
 
  2-22  (c) Subsequent boards shall be composed of members who shall 
  2-23  be appointed in the manner described in subsection (a) of 
  2-24  this section for the appointment of initial members and 
  2-25  shall serve for terms of office of four years each beginning 
  2-26  on the first day of January immediately following the 
  2-27  expiration of such member's respective predecessor's term of 
  2-28  office and until a successor is appointed and qualified. 
 
  2-29  (d) The board shall take no action until all members have 
  2-30  been certified to the clerk of the superior court. 
 
  2-31                           SECTION 3. 
 
  2-32  No person who holds elective public office shall be eligible 
  2-33  to serve as a member of the board during the term of such 
  2-34  elective office, and the position of any member of the board 
  2-35  shall be deemed vacant upon such member's qualifying as a 
  2-36  candidate for elective public office. 
 
  2-37                           SECTION 4. 
 
  2-38  The appointment of each member of the board shall be made as 
  2-39  a part of the presentment returned by the grand jury making 
  2-40  said appointment.  Said presentment shall state the name and 
  2-41  residential address of the person appointed.  The clerk of 
  2-42  the superior court shall certify the name of each such 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1  appointed member to the Secretary of State and provide for 
  3- 2  the issuance of an appropriate commission to each member of 
  3- 3  the board within the same time and in the same manner as 
  3- 4  provided by law for registrars. 
 
  3- 5                           SECTION 5. 
 
  3- 6  Each member of the board shall be eligible for successive 
  3- 7  terms; provided, however, that he or she is nominated for 
  3- 8  succession by the original appointing body as provided in 
  3- 9  Section 2 of this Act and shall have the right to resign at 
  3-10  any time by giving written notice of resignation to the 
  3-11  judge of the superior court and to his or her original 
  3-12  appointing body, and shall be subject to removal from the 
  3-13  board at any time by the respective original appointing 
  3-14  body, for cause after notice and hearing, in the same manner 
  3-15  and by the same authority as provided for removal of 
  3-16  registrars. 
 
  3-17                           SECTION 6. 
 
  3-18  In the event a vacancy occurs in the office of any appointed 
  3-19  member of the board before the expiration of the term for 
  3-20  which such member was appointed by removal, death, 
  3-21  resignation, or otherwise, the grand jury next convening 
  3-22  following the occurrence of the vacancy shall appoint a 
  3-23  successor to serve the remainder of the unexpired term upon 
  3-24  receipt of a list of three nominees from the original 
  3-25  appointing body.  The clerk of the superior court shall be 
  3-26  notified of interim appointments and shall record and 
  3-27  certify such appointments in the same manner as for the 
  3-28  regular appointment of members. 
 
  3-29                           SECTION 7. 
 
  3-30  The first members of the board under this Act shall take 
  3-31  office immediately upon their appointment as provided in 
  3-32  this Act.  Before entering upon the duties of office, each 
  3-33  such member shall take substantially the same oath as 
  3-34  required by law for registrars and shall have the same 
  3-35  privileges from arrest. 
 
  3-36                           SECTION 8. 
 
  3-37  Each board of elections and registration shall: 
 
  3-38      (1) With regard to the preparation for conduct and 
  3-39      administration of elections, succeed to and exercise all 
  3-40      duties and powers granted to and incumbent upon the 
  3-41      superintendent of elections pursuant to Title 21 of the 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1      O.C.G.A., as now or hereafter amended, or any other 
  4- 2      provisions of law, or both; 
 
  4- 3      (2) With regard to preparation for and conduct of 
  4- 4      primaries: 
 
  4- 5        (A) Succeed to all the duties and powers granted to 
  4- 6        and incumbent upon the superintendent of elections by 
  4- 7        Title 21 of the O.C.G.A., as now or hereafter amended, 
  4- 8        or any other provisions of law, or both; 
 
  4- 9        (B) Formulate, adopt, and promulgate rules and 
  4-10        regulations consistent with the law and the rules and 
  4-11        regulations of the state executive committee of each 
  4-12        political party governing the conduct of primaries to 
  4-13        the end that, insofar as practicable, all primaries 
  4-14        shall be uniformly conducted by the county board of 
  4-15        elections and registration, poll workers properly 
  4-16        trained, and voters adequately informed and 
  4-17        instructed.  Any rule or regulation promulgated by a 
  4-18        county executive committee under the provisions of 
  4-19        Code Section 21-2-111 of the O.C.G.A., as amended, 
  4-20        with regard to the conduct of primaries shall be null 
  4-21        and void if in conflict with a valid rule or 
  4-22        regulation of the board of elections and registration; 
  4-23        and 
 
  4-24        (C) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require 
  4-25        or prohibit the governing authority or any other 
  4-26        public agency to bear any expense of conducting 
  4-27        primaries not otherwise required by law; and 
 
  4-28      (3) With regard to registration of electors, succeed to 
  4-29      and exercise all of the duties and powers granted to and 
  4-30      incumbent on the chief registrar and the board of 
  4-31      registrars pursuant to Title 21 of the O.C.G.A., as now 
  4-32      or hereafter amended, or any other provisions of law, or 
  4-33      both. 
 
  4-34                           SECTION 9. 
 
  4-35  The board shall be responsible for the selection, 
  4-36  appointment, and training of poll workers in primaries and 
  4-37  elections, and such workers shall be appointed, insofar as 
  4-38  practicable, from lists provided to the board by the county 
  4-39  executive committee of each political party. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1                          SECTION 10. 
 
  5- 2  With the consent of the governing authority, the board of 
  5- 3  elections and registration shall be authorized to expend 
  5- 4  public funds for the purpose of distributing sample ballots, 
  5- 5  voter information booklets, and other material designed to 
  5- 6  adequately inform and instruct electors of the county with 
  5- 7  regard to elections. 
 
  5- 8                          SECTION 11. 
 
  5- 9  (a) The judge of the Probate Court of Hancock County acting 
  5-10  as the superintendent of elections and the county board of 
  5-11  registrars are relieved from all powers and duties to which 
  5-12  the board of elections and registration succeed by the 
  5-13  provisions of this Act and shall deliver thereafter to the 
  5-14  chairperson of the board, upon his or her written request, 
  5-15  the custody of all equipment, supplies, materials, books, 
  5-16  paper, records, and facilities of every kind pertaining to 
  5-17  such powers and duties.  The judge of the probate court 
  5-18  shall swear in all persons elected to public office in the 
  5-19  same manner as done prior to the effective date of this Act. 
 
  5-20  (b) For the remainder of his or her present unexpired term 
  5-21  of office, the probate judge incumbent on the effective date 
  5-22  of this Act serving in the capacity of superintendent of 
  5-23  elections shall serve as an ex officio member of the board 
  5-24  and shall continue to receive his or her present authorized 
  5-25  compensation for service as superintendent of elections 
  5-26  until the expiration of his or her term. 
 
  5-27  (c) The judge of the Probate Court of Hancock County acting 
  5-28  as the superintendent of elections and the members of the 
  5-29  county board of registrars serving in such capacity on the 
  5-30  effective date of this Act shall continue to serve until the 
  5-31  members of the board of elections and registration created 
  5-32  under this Act are duly appointed and qualified. 
 
  5-33                          SECTION 12. 
 
  5-34  (a) The board shall be authorized to organize itself, 
  5-35  determine its procedural rules and regulations, adopt 
  5-36  bylaws, specify the functions and duties of its employees, 
  5-37  and otherwise take such action as is appropriate to the 
  5-38  management of the affairs committed to its supervision; 
  5-39  provided, however, no such action shall conflict with state 
  5-40  law.  Action and decision by the board concerning operations 
  5-41  and procedures of the board not provided by state law or 
  5-42  otherwise directed by proper authority shall be by a 
 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1  majority of the members of the board provided a quorum of 
  6- 2  three members is present. 
 
  6- 3  (b) The chairperson of the board of elections and 
  6- 4  registration shall be the chief executive officer of the 
  6- 5  board of elections and registration and shall generally 
  6- 6  supervise, direct, and control the administration of the 
  6- 7  affairs of the board of elections and registration pursuant 
  6- 8  to law and duly adopted resolutions of the board of 
  6- 9  elections and registration.  The board of elections and 
  6-10  registration shall fix and establish, by appropriate 
  6-11  resolution entered on its minutes, directives governing the 
  6-12  execution of matters within its jurisdiction. 
 
  6-13                          SECTION 13. 
 
  6-14  The board shall have the authority to contract with any 
  6-15  municipality located within Hancock County for the holding 
  6-16  by the board of any primary or election to be conducted 
  6-17  within such municipality. 
 
  6-18                          SECTION 14. 
 
  6-19  The members of the board of elections and registration shall 
  6-20  receive such compensation for their services as may be fixed 
  6-21  from time to time by the governing authority of Hancock 
  6-22  County, but in no event shall the compensation of a member 
  6-23  be decreased during such member's term of office. 
 
  6-24                          SECTION 15. 
 
  6-25  The governing authority of the county shall provide the 
  6-26  board of elections and registration with such proper and 
  6-27  suitable offices and supplies and with such clerical 
  6-28  assistants and other employees as the governing authority 
  6-29  shall deem appropriate. 
 
  6-30                          SECTION 16. 
 
  6-31  For the purposes of this Act, the terms "election," 
  6-32  "elector," "political party," "primary," "public office," 
  6-33  "special election," and "special primary" shall have the 
  6-34  same meaning ascribed to those words by Code Section 21-2-2 
  6-35  of the O.C.G.A., as amended, unless otherwise clearly 
  6-36  apparent from the text of this Act; the term "board" means 
  6-37  the board of elections and registration created by Section 1 
  6-38  of this Act; the term "county" means Hancock County; and the 
  6-39  term "superior court" means the superior court of Hancock 
  6-40  County. 
 
 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1                          SECTION 17. 
 
  7- 2  It shall be the duty of the governing authority of Hancock 
  7- 3  County to require the attorney therefor to submit this Act, 
  7- 4  pursuant to Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 
  7- 5  1965, as amended, to the United States Attorney General for 
  7- 6  approval. 
 
  7- 7                          SECTION 18. 
 
  7- 8  This Act shall become effective on January 1, 1998. 
 
  7- 9                          SECTION 19. 
 
  7-10  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  7-11  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -7- 

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

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