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SB 91 - Election Code - write-in candidate requirements, procedures
Ladd, Bart (41st)
Status Summary SC: SLGO HC: FR: 02/01/99 LA: 02/01/99 S - Read 1st time

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.

Page Numbers: 1 2 3
Code Sections - 21-2-358

Senate Action House
2/1/99 Read 1st time
Version by LC Number
LC 18 9294 As Introduced

SB 91  99                                          LC 18 9294 
 
      SENATE BILL 91 
 
      By:  Senator Ladd of the 41st 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  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, 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  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. 
 
  2- 8    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 
  2-18    Reserved." 
 
  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 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  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 
  3-31  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 

Secretary of the Senate
Frank Eldridge, Jr., Secretary
Last Updated on 05/15/00