From the Tipline

State Sen. Bill Stephens, R-Canton, a candidate for Secretary of State next year, said his proposed legislation will make Georgia one of the first states in the nation with a uniform statewide system of automated touch-screen voting machines that can also produce a paper record of every vote cast.

“A safe, secure voting system is the foundation of our democracy. With the passage of this legislation next session, voters will be able to verify that their electronically-cast vote doesn’t just disappear into cyberspace,” Stephens said in a prepared announcement.

Under the legislation, paper printouts would first be produced in three counties as a pilot project in the 2006 elections. The counties are Cobb, Columbia and Decatur. Full statewide implementation would occur in 2008.

The emailer adds, “The interseting part is that Harry Geisinger (sp) had this filled last year and Stephens was no where to be seen on it.” Oh, and to answer his/her question, I did miss this.


  1. Chris says:

    Other than the use of the term “cyberspace”, this is a good thing. However, it needs funding to verify the paper trail with the electronic tally at randomly selected precincts across the state.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Kinda reminds me of the gay marrioage thing…Bill stephens scooped it up as his own…until Mike Crotts got pissed-off that it was HIS legislation.

    Bill Stephens is great at claiming credit, and initiating legislation that other people offered, but he’s an idiot when it comes to original thought.

  3. DoubleDawg3 says:

    With the concerns about Diebold (that were discussed in the article posted on here yesterday) this sounds like a good measure to ensure that all votes are properly recorded.

    In reference to the Defense of Marriage Amendment…Bill Stephens didn’t “scoop it up as his own” – he WAS the first person to introduce that measure (give credit for the orginal thought to him &/or Eric Johnson— on the day after Bush’s 2004 State of Union address – where the President spoke of defending marriage in the US), he held the first press conference on it (with Crotts and Harp, or someone else – in attendance as well as co-supporters) – Crotts became the “face” of the bill when someone in the leadership decided it might be better to have a guy that’s been married 25+ years then one who had been divorced (and who’s ex-wife had been critical of in the media). It’s tough to attack a guy (Crotts) about the sanctity of marriage when he’s been happily married for however many years and is on the Board of Deacons at his church. Stephens then dropped from 1st sponsor on the bill to 4th sponsor.

    So – you’re right – he did claim credit….For something that he came up with!

  4. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Basically you’ll use anything possible to attack Bill Stephens, while waving your Karen Handel flag (which judging from her “log cabin” support – that you debated – is clearly purple with rainbows – perfect colors for Techies!)

  5. PeggyP says:

    As a fan of the Yellow Jackets, I hate to agree with DoubleDawg, but he is completely right. The gay marriage amendment was completely Stephens’ idea when he was Majority Leader. He passed it off to Crotts because that’s what leaders do: they let members of their caucus take the lead on important legislation.

  6. Ben King says:

    A very similar bill was introduced last year in the Senate three weeks before Geisinger’s bill, but with Vincent Fort as the lead sponsor. Stephens was not even a co-sponsor.

    Does this mean that Bill Stephens is a really just stealing legislation from crazy whacko liberals?? Actually, for what its worth, those other two bills were at least bi-partisan in their cosponsors.

  7. Ben Raspail says:

    Erick- interesting quote from the tipline email you received re: Geisinger’s bill last session. Maybe this tipster didn’t realize that Stephens was running the Senate last session and maybe didn’t have time to champion a bill introduced by some freshman House member. Stephens and Tom Price introduced the first paper ballot bill back in 2003. Nice try, Bill Simon and Silence.

  8. Stafferusga says:

    Kudos to Stephens. This is a great idea politically and practically for Georgia. The conventional wisdom in DC is that he will win this race decisively.

  9. rickday says:

    As is typical with political geekoids, you guys get all lost in sidebar mumbo jumbo. Who gets credit for hateful legislation is moot. Fact is, we already had this ‘brilliant’ legislation in place. Remember?

    That is, until Cathy Cox almost singlehandedly had the statute repealed. Remember?

    Of course, now, she thinks V-VAT is a GOOD idea. Now that she is running for an office of competition its a great idea to her! Hm. What does she know?

  10. Silence says:

    I was unclear earlier…I believe Bill has stepped too far a time or two in taking credit for other folk’s hard work. I do, however, think this is a good bill, regardless of where the idea did or did not originate. In answer to your question, rickday, Cathy Cox does apparently not know a whole lot.

  11. Elliott says:

    I think this bill is just another example of republicans trying to obfuscate the issue on voing rights. they repeatedly focus on obsure possibilities while supporting such patently biased legislation like the voter id bill. So we want to spend millions to fix a problem that has never actually happened but refuse to build more centers to get a drivers license which will definitely, even according to the justice departments own memos, disenfranchise thousands of voters.

    I want government to start fixing real problems before we waste millions shoring up theoretical weak points.

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