Feds okay a floating presidential primary in Georgia

The U.S. Justice Department has given its stamp of approval to state legislation passed this spring to give Secretary of State Brian Kemp the power to set the date for next year’s presidential primary, Kemp’s office announced this afternoon.

Three other election measures signed by Gov. Nathan Deal also survived the DOJ scrutiny required by the Voting Rights Act. In sum:

HB 454, sponsored by Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, allows Kemp to set the date of next year’s presidential primary by Dec. 1. The election can be no sooner than late January, and no later than mid-June.

– HB 92, also sponsored by Hamilton, reduces in-person early voting to three weeks prior to Election Day, down from 45 days. Counties complained of the extra costs, but some Republicans were also eager to curtail the emphasis that, in 2008, Barack Obama was able to getting voters to the polls six weeks before Election Day.

– HB 158, sponsored by James Mills, R-Gainesville, switches the date of judicial and other non-partisan races from November to back to the general primary in the summer. Counties had complained about the extra costs forced by a runoff in the November general election.

– HB 302, sponsored by Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula, changes the date of the general primary in even-numbered years following a census from the next-to-last last Tuesday in August to the last Tuesday in July. The legislation, a release from Kemp’s office says, was needed to meet federal requirements for military and overseas voters.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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44 comments Add your comment

Sandra

August 29th, 2011
4:43 pm

Republicans want to make it harder for the working person to vote.

honested

August 29th, 2011
4:46 pm

I’m surprised they haven’t proffered a bill to limit voters in the General Election to those who cast a republican ballot in the primary.
We still have until Wednesday.

TRUTH

August 29th, 2011
4:47 pm

Cut down the number of days one has to cast a ballot, change the primary dates, and the other baloney the (R’s) are selling. I know the good people of GA will continue to vote for the Red, but at their own peril.

Do like I and my family did, GET OUTTA GA!!

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
5:05 pm

TRUTH :

“Do like I and my family did, GET OUTTA GA!!”

You don’t really have a dog in this fight, do you?

Smoke

August 29th, 2011
5:09 pm

I am waiting for the “reverse discrimination” cry come up, because white liberals, all moderates and all independents in Georgia have been disinfrachised because conservatives have been using a con game focused on blacks. Question? What is the difference between a poor rural dixiecrat and a poor urban liberal? One gets blamed for receiving “government” benefits.

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
5:11 pm

Sandra:

“HB 92, also sponsored by Hamilton, reduces in-person early voting to three weeks prior to Election Day”

I fail to see how that poses any undue hardship on the voters. One should be able to find the time in those three weeks to vote, or make arrangements to vote on election day.

Smoke

August 29th, 2011
5:11 pm

If Georgia is such a conservative State, how come conservatives do so much to suppress the right of the masses to vote?

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
5:18 pm

Sandra:

Aren’t you making a big deal out of nothing?

Georgia Code § 21-2-404

Employees that give reasonable notice to their employers have two hours to vote in any election for which they are qualified to vote. If the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, however, the time off for voting is not available.

Smoke

August 29th, 2011
5:33 pm

Now my problem is why are Georgia legislators trying to make primary election timelines so complicated? Could it be that they are legally trying to move the dates around now so that their “friends” can send out illegal robo calls later to certain districts make things more confusing? Think Ohio, Illinois, and Florida just to name a few. Question? Can anyone think of where a liberal was jailed for such activities? And please spare us of the ACORN mess, that was sending in illegal registration cards that never saw the light of day.

Voting Nana

August 29th, 2011
5:37 pm

I do not believe that shortening the early voting is an effort to get fewer people to vote. Voting 45 days out from an election is a relatively new thing. Voting by absentee ballot 30 days out has been in place for as long as I can remember, you just had to have the ballot mailed to you and have a valid reason for not voting on election day. Voting an absentee ballot in person is convenient for many and has resulted in more people voting. Shortening the number of days to vote early in an election is a very smart economical move because early voting can be very expensive for the counties that have to pay those costs, especially in a presidential election year. Most county budgets just cannot handle the costs of long elections right now and would have to make choices between higher property taxation or more cuts elsewhere in their budgets.

candide

August 29th, 2011
5:42 pm

Outrageous that the law assumes Georgia cannot be trusted in elections.

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
5:51 pm

Voting Nana:

I think you’re dead on the money! A close friend handled the elections for years in the small county where I live. Only years after she had retired did she share with me the headaches associated with that responsibilty. The longer voting periods are extended, the more it costs the governmental entity (counties or municipalities), and the end-payer who is the taxpayer.

findog

August 29th, 2011
6:09 pm

LMS & Nana, and if you use absentee ballots you don’t have to show your ID to vote

Jose

August 29th, 2011
6:13 pm

Talk about making mountains out of molehills. Most of the changes were requested by county election administrators. Why do some assume a conspiracy behind everything?

Jose

August 29th, 2011
6:16 pm

requested by county election administrators AND approved by the Obama DOJ…

Smoke

August 29th, 2011
6:37 pm

Jose. (1) Guess who are the county election administrators? The reason why some assume a conspiracy behind everything is because WE ARE IN GEORGIA! (1) We are in a State where many rural county election folks hate the word “Atlanta,” and conspire to block anything with that name because it is associated with “liberal”, but forget their kindred souls also live in “Metro.” In war it is called collateral damage. What the conservative democrats got in 2001, conservative republicans get in 2011. Are there enough moderates, centrists, and independents in this State to bring some sanity? Probably not.

Smoke

August 29th, 2011
6:38 pm

HB92 and the rest of the crap are 15-different things.

Smoke

August 29th, 2011
6:42 pm

When conservative intellectual elites agree with conservatives hayseeds 100% of the time, Houston (County)…We have them snowed.

Javaris

August 29th, 2011
6:51 pm

“…but some Republicans were also eager to curtail the emphasis that, in 2008, Barack Obama was able to getting voters to the polls six weeks before Election Day.”

Say WHAT? I am not an Obama fan but I have a problem with anyone, Dem or Repub, trying to manipulate election date windows in order to affect the vote. If the GOP thinks they have to make it harder for people to cast their ballots then they obviously don’t feel secure about their prospects.

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
7:10 pm

findog:

Correct me if I am wrong, but you have to registered to vote in order to vote absentee. The registration process requires the identification of the voter. If the registered voter (or anyone posing as the registered voter) requests and absentee ballot, they will be mailed the application for the ballo at the address given upon registrationt. The application must be completed and returned. The absentee vallot is then mailed to the voter AT THE REGISTERED ADDRESS.

Can election fraud occur through absentee voting? You betcha!

Can election fraud occur at the polling places? You betcha!

Ol' Timer

August 29th, 2011
7:16 pm

James (Big Jim) White and proud of it, president of the Undadilla Tea Party affiliate, Patriots for Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost Alligned Against Pinko Communists, Socialists, Libruls, Illegal Aliens and Democratic Whooshes, is asking all Republican/Tea Party candidates in Georgia to sign a pledge not to eat Vidalia Onions since there’s a possibility they might have been dug out of the ground by illegal aliens from Mexico or some other foreign country.

Clinton "Skeek" Tyree

August 29th, 2011
7:20 pm

@Last Man Standing: I think every voter should have to bring his/her preacher and a Bible to swear on that the person casting the vote is the person they proport to be.

“Put cher’ hand right here on the Good Book, Reverend.”

Red

August 29th, 2011
7:26 pm

From 45 to 21 and people are complaining. If it takes you three weeks to make arrangements to vote you have more than a right to vote to worry about. Before we had early voting I never heard these people complaining. Now cutting it down to three weeks and people are crying conspiracy, racism, etc. People need to buy a clue – what is scary is that these people are actually voting for offices that have a long term effect on all of us.

findog

August 29th, 2011
7:31 pm

LMS,
You don’t have to show your identification to vote absentee
Dead people can now only vote that way here because of our new improved voting law

Take away from the primary is that no one cares what Georgia thinks in the presidential primary
Scam by media outlets to try and grab some of that political ad gravy

JustMe

August 29th, 2011
7:58 pm

Counties complained of the extra costs, but some Republicans were also eager to curtail the emphasis that, in 2008, Barack Obama was able to getting voters to the polls six weeks before Election Day.

I always found this kind of interesting given that Obama lost Georgia in 2008 and when you lose in Georgia you don’t get any of the EV’s since Georgia is an all or nothing state. So seriously what is their point in doing this?

JustMe

August 29th, 2011
8:01 pm

Before we had early voting I never heard these people complaining. Now cutting it down to three weeks and people are crying conspiracy, racism, etc.

People always do that when they lose something that they had before – it doesn’t make a difference whether that they didn’t have it before they got it in the first place. They became accustomed to having it and when it goes away of course they are going to be upset.

JustMe

August 29th, 2011
8:04 pm

If the GOP thinks they have to make it harder for people to cast their ballots then they obviously don’t feel secure about their prospects.

Exactly! And if the GOP doesn’t feel good about their prospects in red Georgia that’s almost guaranteed to vote red across the board, then imagine what it would be like in a swing or purple state.

td

August 29th, 2011
8:19 pm

findog

August 29th, 2011
7:31 pm

You have to sign an affidavit stating you are the person registered and that you are a legal voter. Penalty for lying can be jail time. This is the same form a person has to sign for a provisional ballot at the polls in Georgia.

td

August 29th, 2011
8:36 pm

Our whole voting system has turned into a farce. Any one can get a provisional ballot without id by signing an affidavit. In some states you can register and vote on the election day without photo id. Most states do not run the data base of registered voters against criminal databases or ICE. We have “community organizers” providing rides to the polls, spreading walking around money and getting absentee ballots for every person in hospitals, jails and senior centers (and then they “Assist” them on filling out the ballots”. I can guarantee you that you have millions of people with dual residents (NY-Florida, Calf-Arizona ect) voting absentee in one state and in person in the other.

The whole system needs to be in person only voting (Military on duty overseas only exception) for one weekend in a election cycle. Photo id required and all registration run against databases to exclude illegals and convicted criminals.

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
8:39 pm

findog:

I can’t speak for existing situations in other counties, but in the relatively sparsely popelated county in which I live they purge the list of voters of the deceased voters and those who have moved away.

My point in my earlier post was that to become a registered voter, one must produce proper and adequate identification AND must prove their address of residence. If a registered voter moves, they must update their legal address with the county registrar. An application for an absentee vallot and the ballot itself will be mailed ONLY to the voter’s address.

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
8:41 pm

“vallot” should read “ballot”.

Sorry, findog.

Last Man Standing

August 29th, 2011
8:44 pm

Justme:

“They became accustomed to having it and when it goes away of course they are going to be upset.”

Kind of like entitlements?

d

August 29th, 2011
11:28 pm

I agree the 45 days is kind of a bad thing – back in 2008, I voted for a candidate for president who dropped out between the time I voted and the time of the actual election…. and no way to get that vote back….. As far as working people go, do like I do and get a mail-in absentee ballot and there’s never a problem.

Buckhead Boy

August 30th, 2011
5:12 am

Voter fraud? Is that like claiming your son’s basement in another state as your residence so that you can vote in a special election for the US Senate in that state?

Don

August 30th, 2011
7:53 am

td: document ONE case of significant voter fraud in a recent election. (By the way, you can’t).

honested

August 30th, 2011
8:28 am

Don,

The crux of the biscuit!

We have wasted enormous amounts of time and money, turned our elections over to a cash register company with no audit trail, invented bogus additional requirements, all to prevent a problem that never existed.

Well, I guess the problem was really that the current House and Senate leadership knew they would have to go back to selling insurance once the Public found out what they were really up to. So they had to develop a system that gave them at least a couple of extra cycles.

Beta

August 30th, 2011
8:32 am

Red
August 29th, 2011
7:26 pm
“People need to buy a clue – what is scary is that these people are actually voting for offices that have a long term effect on all of us.”

Goodness me. All the time we have been voting early, we were doing it for our convenience yes, and so that people who had jobs and could only get time off to vote on election day would be able to cast their vote in less time.

We voted for President Obama in 2008, and plan to vote for him again. May not add one point to his EC count since we are in Georgia, but who knows? Maybe our votes will have an effect on others after all ….

deegee

August 30th, 2011
8:38 am

The only case of voter fraud that I am personally aware of is that of my sister-law’s, Fox News loving parents that moved from Louisiana to Texas but traveled back to Louisiana to vote, where they still owned property, because they thought that their R vote in Louisiana would have more significance.

I applaud the secretary of state’s office for cracking down on people that own second homes and vote in every county and state where they own property. I think Ann Coulter would be one that was busted for voter fraud.

BeamMeUp, Scottie

August 30th, 2011
8:58 am

Why all this discussion (and, in fact, why all the changes in the law)? Has everyone forgotten that the voting machines in the state are Diebold??
Read “easily hacked, with no paper trail, and no way to verify a “runoff vote.” The Republicans have absolutely nothing to worry about, they can count on that 51/48 vote every time! And all those mail-in ballots will get lost on a shelf somewhere. Is this a Republican “diversion” – just like the debt ceiling issue instead of the JOBS issue???

A Conservative Voice

August 30th, 2011
9:06 am

If the USDOJ approved it, watch out……….Holders up to something.

TRUTH

August 30th, 2011
11:29 am

@Last Man, I do have a dog in this fight. It’s called fair and equal treatment of the people. ALthough we live out of state, we still have our hearts in Georgia.

What your comment did accomplish was to let me know how blindly you will follow the R’s right off the cliff….

honested

August 30th, 2011
12:30 pm

Now that the districts are locked in, when will the media blitz to prevent Georgians from paying attention to the disastrous job the Majority has done in the General Assembly since 2003?

If the voters pay attention, the disaster can still be corrected.

[...] other day Galloway noted some pre-clearance activity for a few voting changes here in Georgia.  The most newsworthy allows our Secretary of State to wait until the last minute to pick a [...]

[...] other day Galloway noted some pre-clearance activity for a few voting changes here in Georgia.  The most newsworthy allows our Secretary of State to wait until the last minute to pick a [...]