Chatham Co. election official reacts to proposed absentee voter ID law

Chatham County election official reacts to absentee voter ID law

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Senate voted to pass the first in a series of election reform bills yesterday. Senate Bill 67 would require voters to send their driver’s license number or a copy of it in with their absentee ballot application.

In Chatham County, the Board of Registrars office handles the issuing, receiving and authenticity verification of absentee ballots. Board of Registrars Chairman Colin McRae says he’s surprised to see legislation passed right now that would alter requirements to apply for an absentee ballot.

“I say it’s surprising because there was a significant amount of scrutiny on the November election and the runoff. There was auditing done of the recounts and the absentee balloting, etc. And the auditing revealed effectively no fraud, no compromising of the integrity of the system,” said McRae.

McRae says he’s worried Senate Bill 67 may have unintended consequences when it comes to the security of the absentee process.

“My fear would be with legislation like this that moves to photo copies of IDs, that that would actually allow for more nefarious activities than it rules out,” he said.

McRae says it’s his opinion that it’s harder to duplicate someone signature than it is to duplicate someone’s ID, meaning, it might be easier to fake records with the new proposal.

McRae says whatever changes may come down the road, he believes the team with the Chatham County’s Registrars Office will be ready.

“From the Board’s perspective, we’re not as concerned about the additional work or restrictions it might put on our people. I mean, we’ve been put through a pretty arduous last twelve months of voting-related activity and our staff is very well trained, well equipped to handle additional responsibilities,” he said.

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