2014 GEORGIA LEGISLATURE
Georgia’s 2014 legislative session began smoothly last week, but moved at an accelerated pace. The reason for the faster pace is a change in the elections calendar. Last year, a federal court ruled that Georgia needed to better accommodate overseas and military voters by holding an earlier primary. The concern was that the existing schedule, in which primaries are held in late July, didn’t provide enough time for the return of those votes – especially if a primary runoff was required. Thinking back to my service on the Newton County Board of Elections, I see the reason for the concern. This is a change we need to make.
While the court decision only affected the primary for federal offices, it nonetheless forces a change to the primary for all offices in the state during even numbered years. Having two separate election schedules would be needlessly confusing to voters, and would also impose significant, unnecessary extra costs on counties and cities. Thus we took the unusual step of passing a bill during the first week of the session. The bill in question was HB 310, which will move the