New Georgia Bill Would Limit Secretary of State’s Ability to Enter into Consent Agreements


Georgia legislators filed a bill this week that, among other things, would limit the ability of the State Election Board and the secretary of state to enter into certain consent agreements.

“The State Election Board, the members thereof, the Secretary of State, and any of their attorneys or staff shall not have any authority to enter into any consent agreement with any other person that limits, alters, or interprets any provision of this chapter without obtaining the approval of the General Assembly through a joint resolution,” according to the language of the bill.

As The Georgia Star News reported last month, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he entered into a controversial Compromise Settlement Agreement and Release with Stacey Abrams because members of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office recommended he do so.

Exactly 31 state senators are currently sponsoring the new bill, SB 241. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) as the primary sponsor.

Dugan’s bill also proposes that Georgia officials do the following:

• Suspend and temporarily replace election superintendents on the basis of malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, or inability to perform duties

• Provide for participation in a multi-state voter registration system

• Allow for the use of portable or movable polling places only under limited conditions

• Require reasons for absentee voting, require identification for requesting an absentee ballot application and to submit an absentee ballot

• Provide for where to conduct advance voting

• Provide for a witness on absentee ballot envelopes

• Establish a voter intimidation and illegal election activities hotline

This hotline would accept anonymous tips, according to the language of the bill.

“The Attorney General shall review each complaint or allegation of voter intimidation or illegal election activities within three business days and determine if such complaint or report should be investigated or prosecuted,” according to the bill.

Georgia Secretary of State spokesman Walter Jones said Wednesday that his office does not comment on pending legislation.

Members of the Georgia State Senate’s Ethics Committee are scheduled to hear the bill, SB 241, at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, said Emily Anderson with the Office of the Secretary of the Senate.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]










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