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The Gist: Election Day could be more streamlined in Georgia in the near future if a new bill is passed that would force local elections departments to take action if Georgians wait in line too long to vote.
The Bill: The new bill will require counties to track wait times and take action if voters have to wait more than an hour to cast their ballot. The counties will measure the wait times at least three times on election day and report those times back to the Secretary of State. If the wait time is longer than one hour, county election officials will be advised to split the precinct, provide more voting equipment, or hire additional poll workers for the next election.
Who’s behind the bill?: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is taking the lead on the new bill and is working with legislators to craft the legislation.
“The right to vote is a most sacred democratic duty, and one that should not be inhibited by unnecessarily long lines,” Raffensperger said. “I am excited that this legislation will take significant action to preempt long wait times on election day and look forward to working every day to ensure easy access to the ballot box for all Georgians.”
Raffensperger said in a statement that the new measure will “drastically” reduce wait times at Georgia’s polling locations.
What is the status of the bill: Once filed, the bill will have to pass in the legislature and be signed by the governor before it can go into effect.