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More information can be found on the Secretary of State’s Web site at www.sos.georgia.gov/.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp talked about recent legislation affecting elections during a visit Thursday with the Rotary Club of Forsyth County.
Kemp, a native of Athens who has served since January 2010, also stopped by the local elections office earlier in the day.
“I can tell you that this is one of the best-run election offices in the state,” Kemp said. “I was very impressed.”
With the Rotarians, Kemp discussed a recent decision by the Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act, as well as some other changes.
“Basically that [act] meant that anything we had to do with elections, we would have to ask the Justice Department for their approval before we could implement it,” he said.
Kemp noted that could be anything as mundane as a county changing a polling place or moving a precinct.
“That ruling pretty much throws out Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act,” he said. “The reason they threw it out is they’re using numbers that are 40 years old and the justices who voted for that opinion felt that’s not constitutional to subject Georgia as a state and other states to elections data [that old].”
Kemp said it boiled down to “an issue of fairness.”
“In my opinion, it’s going to be a really good thing for our office and for the counties from an administrative standpoint,” he said. “You can take away all the politics … and the bottom line is it’s going to be a lot less work for our offices and save us a lot of money.”
Kemp shared how his office is in the final stages of completing a new statewide voter registration system that’s Web-based, which will help with efficiency. He also noted the office has combined two licensing boards.
“You’ll probably never hear about this, but that created smaller government, it created more efficient government,” he said.
Something that apparently wasn’t so efficient was a switch to a new corporation platform earlier this year. “I apologize to anyone who had an issue this year trying to file a corporation registration,” he said. “It was a … nightmare for the first couple of months.”
Kemp also touted the Invest Georgia Exception, a new tax exception program. “Now there’s a way for Georgia entrepreneurs to raise money from Georgia investors to really help the whole startup movement that we have in our state.”