State elections board weighs proposal for extensive document review before certification

ATLANTA — A proposed rule from the State Elections Board could allow a single county board member to demand access to any election documents before certifying an election.

Newly proposed rules have sparked a debate over the trust and integrity of Georgia’s election system.

Under the new proposal, county board members would be able to review all documents related to an election.

Opponents argue that election certification should be a straightforward process and that investigating potential issues is not the responsibility of county boards.

John Fervier, the State Elections Board Chair, and Salleigh Grubbs, with the Cobb County GOP, expressed differing views on the proposal.

“It would seem to create some difficulty because we can’t approve yours and mine both. We’ll just have to duke it out,” Fervier said.

Grubbs said her proposal provides necessary transparency.


“When they are not allowed to receive the documentation after an election prior to certification, they are being asked to certify something they cannot certify because they do not have all the information to do that,” she said.

Sara Tindall Ghazal, the lone Democrat on the State Elections Board, opposed the proposal.

She emphasized that the role of county elections board members is to certify vote totals and forward any concerns to the Secretary of State’s Office to investigate.

“You are certifying the number of votes. That’s what the certification is. There are policies, there are procedures for investigating after the fact,” Ghazal said.

The board voted three to one to push the proposal forward. It will undergo a month of public input before the board votes on it again at its August meeting.


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