|SB 91 - Election Code - write-in candidate requirements, procedures
First Reader Summary
A bill to amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of
Georgia Annotated, the "Georgia Election Code," so as to revise
and change requirements and procedures regarding write-in
candidates; to eliminate the requirement of examining write-in
votes for unqualified write-in candidates.
||Read 1st time
SB 91 99 LC 18 9294
SENATE BILL 91
By: Senator Ladd of the 41st
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1- 1 To amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of
1- 2 Georgia Annotated, the "Georgia Election Code," so as to
1- 3 revise and change requirements and procedures regarding
1- 4 write-in candidates; to eliminate the requirement of
1- 5 examining write-in votes for unqualified write-in
1- 6 candidates; to provide tabulation, recordation, and
1- 7 certification of results with respect to write-in
1- 8 candidates; to change certain provisions regarding write-in
1- 9 votes; to change certain provisions regarding vote counting
1-10 and returning procedures; to change certain provisions
1-11 regarding canvassing and returning of votes; to change
1-12 certain provisions regarding the counting of ballots; to
1-13 repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
1-14 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
1-15 SECTION 1.
1-16 Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia
1-17 Annotated, the "Georgia Election Code," is amended by adding
1-18 two subsections at the end of Code Section 21-2-133,
1-19 relating to write-in candidacy, to be designated subsections
1-20 (f) and (g), to read as follows:
1-21 "(f) Write-in votes will be permitted in special and
1-22 general elections and the design of the ballot shall
1-23 permit the election superintendent, in counting the
1-24 write-in votes for qualified write-in candidates, to
1-25 determine readily whether a voter has cast a write-in vote
1-26 not authorized by law. The Secretary of State, in
1-27 specifying the form of the ballot, and the State Election
1-28 Board, in promulgating the rules and regulations
1-29 respecting the conduct of elections, shall provide for
1-30 ballot secrecy in connection with write-in votes.
1-31 (g) The election superintendent shall only review for
1-32 overvotes, invalid votes, and void votes those ballots
1-33 containing the names of qualified write-in candidates.
1-34 The election superintendent shall only tabulate, record,
2- 1 and certify results therefrom for the qualified write-in
2- 2 candidates."
2- 3 SECTION 2.
2- 4 Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section
2- 5 21-2-358, relating to write-in votes, and inserting in its
2- 6 place a new Code Section 21-2-358 to read as follows:
2- 7 "21-2-358.
In elections, electors shall be permitted to cast write-in
2- 9 votes, but no write-in votes may be cast in a run-off
2-10 primary or run-off election. The design of the ballot
2-11 card shall permit the managers, in counting the write-in
2-12 votes, to determine readily whether an elector has cast
2-13 any write-in vote not authorized by law. The Secretary of
2-14 State, in specifying the form of the ballot, and the State
2-15 Election Board, in promulgating rules and regulations
2-16 respecting the conduct of elections, shall provide for
2-17 ballot secrecy in connection with write-in votes
2-19 SECTION 3.
2-20 Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (c)
2-21 of Code Section 21-2-437, relating to vote counting and
2-22 returning procedures, and inserting in its place a new
2-23 subsection (c) to read as follows:
2-24 "(c) In returning any votes cast for any person whose name
2-25 is not printed on the ballot, the poll officers shall
2-26 record any such names exactly as they were written on the
2-27 ballot a qualified write-in candidate or candidates, the
2-28 poll officers shall record the votes in the manner in
2-29 which the write-in candidate or candidates qualified."
2-30 SECTION 4.
2-31 Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (d)
2-32 of Code Section 21-2-455, relating to canvass and return of
2-33 votes, and inserting in its place a new subsection (d) to
2-34 read as follows:
2-35 "(d) The poll officers, on the returns provided for in
2-36 this Code section, shall record any votes which have been
2-37 cast by means of a write-in ballot for a person whose name
2-38 is not printed on the ballot labels for the qualified
2-39 write-in candidate or candidates only. In returning any
2-40 such votes which have been written, deposited, or affixed
2-41 upon receptacles or devices provided for the purpose, the
3- 1 poll officers shall record any such names exactly as they
3- 2 were written, deposited, or affixed name of the qualified
3- 3 candidate or candidates in the manner in which the
3- 4 candidate qualified."
3- 5 SECTION 5.
3- 6 Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (d)
3- 7 of Code Section 21-2-471, relating to counting of ballots,
3- 8 and inserting in its place a new subsection (d) to read as
3- 9 follows:
3-10 "(d) Each write-in vote shall be examined to ascertain
3-11 whether it is valid by checking with the vote cast on the
3-12 ballot card by the same elector. The election
3-13 superintendent or the designee of the election
3-14 superintendent shall examine each write-in vote cast for a
3-15 qualified write-in candidate to ascertain whether it is
3-16 valid by checking to determine if the voter cast a vote
3-17 for a candidate for the same office on the ballot card.
3-18 If any vote cast for a qualified write-in candidate on the
3-19 write-in ballot in combination with the vote cast for the
3-20 same office on the ballot card exceeds the allowed number
3-21 for the office, the entire vote cast for that office shall
3-22 be marked void and shall not be counted. In the
3-23 discretion of the superintendent or the designee of the
3-24 superintendent, either a duplicate ballot card shall be
3-25 made on which any invalid vote shall be omitted or the
3-26 write-in ballot and the ballot card shall be counted in
3-27 such manner as may be prescribed by State Election Board
3-28 rules, omitting the invalid vote."
3-29 SECTION 6.
3-30 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are
Secretary of the Senate
Frank Eldridge, Jr., Secretary
Last Updated on 05/15/00