Changing Laws

By: Andrea Wilcox
By: Andrea Wilcox

A delivery to Washington County Friday has election officials already preparing for the May primary election.

Fifty one new voting machines have arrived, but it's a pending bill in the state Legislature that has director Becky Kirkbride concerned.

"Well, I know that it's supposed to be an election reform law, which is supposed to change the way absentee voting is done. It has a lot to do with campaign finance and to clear up some of the other problems people perceived in the past couple of elections."

House Bill three is expected to be approved sometime next week. It's an attempt to cut back on voter fraud and would require voters to show identification before casting a ballot.

Barbara Hart of Athens says, "That will get rid of a lot of voter fraud, if you have to show identification. A person can only vote once."

Krikbride says, "The problem I foresee is if a person comes to the polls without their voter identification, they're going to have to vote a provisional ballot and that creates a problem. Voters are going to feel like they're being disenfranchised or that their vote is being singled out. It's also going to create more of a backlog of paperwork in here prior to us counting the votes."

Kirkbride acknowledges the law could have a positive effect, but she says the first few elections under the new law could make for chaotic and very long nights.

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