ACLU of Georgia

How SB202 Changes...

Ballots, Processing, and Returns

Hover over the yellow boxes to see the changes

Before SB202

No requirement for special security paper.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Ballots must be printed on special security paper.
§21-2-372; S.B. 202 §23

CONSEQUENCES

  • Additional county election expense.
  • Implementation in some cases has resulted in VBM ballots being larger than the envelopes, confusing voters at home.

Before SB202

Ballot processing could only begin after polls opened on election day (absent an SEB rule).

After SB202 (Current Law)

The election superintendent (1) is authorized to begin ballot processing up to three weeks before an election.
§21-2-386(2); S.B. 202 §29

CONSEQUENCES

  • Saves counties time in meeting reporting deadlines on election day by pre-processing ballots.

Before SB202

The superintendent may order the proper election official to duplicate defective ballots.

After SB202 (Current Law)

The superintendent may order a duplication panel for defective ballots.
§21-2-483(f), S.B. 202 §39

CONSEQUENCES

  • Creates a more formalized (and potentially politicized) ballot duplication process.

Before SB202

There was no strict deadline to report VBM ballot returns. Superintendent could use their discretion to postpone canvassing of ballots.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Superintendent must report returns of VBM ballots by 5pm the day after the election. Failure to meet the deadline may invite SEB performance review. Superintendent may not cease counting ballots. County elections must report the numbers of VBM ballots returned and early votes cast not later than 10am the next day during the early vote period.
28, 29, 37, 40 §21-2-386(d);. §21-2-419 §21-2-437 §21-2-492 S.B. 202 §28, 29, 37, 40

CONSEQUENCES

  • Counties face serious logistical challenges in meeting these deadlines.

Before SB202

Scanned ballot images were not identified as public records subject to disclosure.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Scanned ballot images (excluding sensitive information) are public records subject to disclosure.
§50-18-71(k); S.B. 202 § 51

CONSEQUENCES

  • The availability of this sensitive information may lead to disingenuous challenges to Georgia election integrity.

Footnotes:

1: Election superintendent can refer to the person or persons responsible for conducting elections. Most commonly the superintendent is the county board of elections or a probate judge.