GWINNETT COMMISSIONERS ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT ON ELECTION BILLS PENDING IN THE GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

(Lawrenceville, Ga., March 23, 2021) – During an informal business session on March 16, the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners discussed elections legislation that is currently pending in the Georgia General Assembly. Today the Board issued a joint statement voicing their desire that Gwinnett County be able to continue to provide its growing population with broad and convenient voting opportunities to maximize voter participation while still maintaining election integrity:

“In order to allow every eligible voter to engage in the voting process, we support the time periods currently available for citizens to apply for officials to issue absentee ballots and do not wish to see these time periods scaled back. We would also like voters to retain the ability to receive absentee ballot applications from alternative sources and not only from the County or the state of Georgia.

“We would like to continue being able to use large, privately owned venues for early voting that can accommodate large numbers of voters, such as the popular Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, and that flexible early voting times, including multiple weekends, continue to be available to accommodate citizens whose work schedules and/or geographic location in the County may prevent them from voting during more traditional days and hours and at less centrally located polling places.

“We also support the widespread use of official ballot drop boxes at numerous locations in order to provide citizens with easy and convenient opportunities to return their ballots.

“In addition, we are concerned with new proposed mandates that would increase costs substantially, such as certain additional ballot security features that would add to the cost of printing and mailing ballots and new daily reporting requirements and continuous counting requirements that would require hiring substantial numbers of additional staff. We believe the proposal would cost more and would siphon personnel away from helping voters. These additional expenses would be compounded by new proposed limitations on the acceptance of funding from parties other than the state or federal governments.

“We are committed to ensuring elections are funded and favor funding for elections from non-governmental agencies, such as the Center for Tech and Civic Life. We would also note that

Gwinnett County Government has a good relationship with various civic groups that may want to provide food or drink to voters waiting in line.”

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