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Georgia Local Election Officials That Accept Private Donations Risk a Minimum $10,000 Fine

The legislation Reasonable For All Local Election Officials(Photo: The Brunswick News)

A bill pertaining to elections that would make it illegal for local election offices to accept outside funding was approved by the Georgia state legislature on Wednesday.

It Is illegal for local election offices to accept outside funding.(Photo: Keyt)

How Much Would a Local Election Officials Pay If Such Violation Were Committed?

Infractions of SB 222, which Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign, would constitute felonies subject to a minimum of one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The bill broadens the restrictions imposed by the state’s 2021 voting legislation, which forbade nonprofit organizations from giving any money directly to regional election officials.

Republicans have advocated for the extension because they contend that outside organizations have the power to direct funds into a county in support of a particular party. At the height of the outbreak in 2020, Republican officials had already targeted contributions made to local political offices by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. According to conservatives, the handouts made it simpler to cast a ballot in Democratic-leaning areas, giving the party an unfair edge.

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Is The legislation Reasonable For All Local Election Officials?

Prior to final passage on Wednesday, GOP state senators made statements on the floor claiming the law is “fair for everyone.”

“Senate Bill 222 does only one thing, but it does it very well,” said state senator Ed Setzler. “It ensures that any outside foundation money that comes to the state is spread evenly across the state, ensuring equal access to all people and preventing outside entities from privately funding election outcomes in one place versus another.”

However, opponents of the measure claim that it will negatively impact election administration and make voting more challenging with fewer personnel, particularly in larger counties.

Kristin Nabers, the state director for All Voting is Local in Georgia, claimed that SB 222 is “based in Big Lie conspiracy theories.”

“Our legislators are choosing to leave money on the table while weakening the very nonpartisan institutions that protect Georgians’ right to vote,” Nabers stated in a statement. “Instead of taking advantage of every opportunity to make Georgia’s elections the most well-run in the country,” Nabers said.

The new bill will limit what is available for offices to conduct elections, according to Stephanie Ali, policy director of the New Georgia Project Action Fund, and “disproportionally harm Georgians who live in counties with more people.”

County election officials will have to make some extremely difficult decisions about how to allocate their limited resources, Ali said. They might have to hire fewer poll workers, which would have a variety of detrimental effects on our voters.

The measure was created in response to DeKalb County accepting a $2 million grant from the US Partnership for Election Excellence, which also includes the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which is supported by Mark Zuckerberg. Republicans in the state asserted that the county broke the law.

DeKalb County would have been obliged to repay the grant money it got under the original measure, but provision was removed on Monday by the House Rules Committee.

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