As I am sure you all have seen, there have been many questions and concerns about the election process in Georgia and nationwide. In Georgia, our elections are administered at the local level by county Boards of Registrars or Boards of Elections. Our Secretary of State is responsible for ensuring that relevant election laws and processes are being carried out at the local level.
In Georgia, the election results will not be certified until November 20th, but the Secretary of State is required by law to conduct a manual “audit” of one race of his choosing; these audits are typically done by hand. Once the election results are certified, a candidate who is trailing by 0.5% or less can request a recount of the ballots in their race. A recount of that type usually involves re-scanning all ballots submitted in a race; voting machines do the scanning in a recount. Due to the closeness of the Presidential race in Georgia, the Presidential race is the one race that has been selected for audit by the Secretary of State’s office.
Typically, to audit the election results, the Secretary of State’s office would select a sample of ballots from different areas to manually review initially and determine whether there are enough errors to expand the audit to other ballots. Because of the likelihood of a recount in the Presidential race and to ensure accuracy in the results of our state’s elections, the Secretary of State has chosen to conduct a manual recount of all ballots cast in the Presidential race. Each county’s recount results are to be reported to the Secretary of State by Wednesday, November 18, at 11:59 PM. Rest assured that Georgia General Assembly members are continuing to request updates from the Georgia Secretary of State and do everything we can to ensure the election results are accurate and free of fraud.
If you or someone you know has seen evidence of election fraud, the Secretary of State’s office has set up a Voter Fraud Hotline at 877-725-9797. If you would like to report Voter Fraud online, there is also a website at https://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/EMailStopVoterFraud.asp. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s office has shared important information for residency requirements for Georgia voters and the harsh penalties involved for registering to vote in Georgia while not meeting our residency requirements. As we move forward, discussions will continue regarding securing Georgia’s elections and how the legislature can help in that effort.
The Secretary of State has also announced that, along with runoff elections for US Senator Kelly Loeffler’s seat and US Senator David Perdue’s seat, the runoff election for Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald’s seat will be on the ballot on January 5, 2021. I encourage you all to visit www.SecureVoteGA.com to request your absentee ballot for this critical election if you are unable to vote in person.
In more personal news, I am proud to announce that on Monday, November 9, I was unanimously re-elected as Majority Leader for the House Republican Caucus. Serving as Majority Leader has been a tremendous honor for me, as this is a position voted on by my fellow House Republican Caucus members. The other Caucus leadership team members were also re-elected, and I look forward to serving with Majority Whip Trey Kelley, Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett, Caucus Vice-Chairman Micah Gravley, and Caucus Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Williamson. Once again, our Caucus nominated Speaker David Ralston and Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones to serve as our nominees that will be voted on by the full Georgia House. We have a great team, dedicated to serving all Georgians, and I am honored to work with them all.
Thank you all for allowing me to represent Georgia House District 159. It is truly an honor to work for you and this great state. If you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.