Group asks Buckner to withdraw

The group Voter GA has called on Gail Buckner (D) to drop out of the race for Secretary of State. Voter GA states that “Rep. Buckner is the only legislator in the General Assembly who is on record as opposing all four 2006 statewide vote count audit measures.”

Voter GA says that Bucker:
– Voted against Rep. Karla Drenner’s SB500 amendment to restore statewide audit trails that were stripped from the pilot bill by author, Bill Stephens.
– Voted against the SB500 House committee substitute bill that provided election night audit procedures for the audit trail pilot.
– Opposed the bi-partisan HB790 vote count verification act in committee.
– Ridiculed the bi-partisan SB591 precinct vote count bill during the debates.

You can view Voter GA’s letter to Bobby Kahn here. You can also view the full press release here.


  1. memberg says:

    1) For clarification, “debates” = campaign, not floor debates.
    2) Did they really pull-out the minutes on HB790? As a former Capitol staffer, I find it hard to believe that the minutes would be that detailed.

  2. emily says:

    memberg, You got that right. Just citing bill numbers does not an argument make. “I detest that woman” is probably because she IS a woman, Mr. Pye. Perhaps she has taken the time to see the legislative inaccuracies of these pieces of legislation. God forbid someone run for SOS that actually knows what the election code means and what voting rights stand for. Not to mention the legislative process. Remember when the committee system worked before your Hawks? You guys are like ravenous dogs sometimes. If she stands up to Republican leadership, she’s a liberal. When she doesn’t go along with the progressives in the Dem party she’s a traitor. Please, pick one and stick with it.

    She’s a wonderful, kind, and brilliant legislator that every Georgian should appreciate (and vote for).

    And, no, I don’t work for her.

  3. Um, as much fun as you guys are having, how can someone oppose or vote against committee substitutes if they aren’t on the committee?

    All of the mentioned bills are in the House Governmental Affairs committee, and I checked the legislature’s homepage and Buckner is not on that committee. Unless she is a hawk she can not be a part of those committees.

    As for Karla Drenner’s amendment, none other than PP hero Steve Davis also voted no.

  4. emily says:

    A committee substitute means that after the bill is read and referred to committee, the committee alters (amends) in some way the initial bill as presented. Then the committee sub is read and voted on by the full body. It will then go to the other chamber to go through the appropriate Senate committees, blah blah. You know this stuff, Chris.

    She does not have to be a part of the committee to which the bill is assigned to vote on the bill that eventually comes to the full body for a vote (as amended, i.e. substituted).

  5. kathryn says:

    E-Voting Plantiffs Asks Democratic SOS Candidate to Step Down
    By Kathryn Weitzel

    Voters in Georgia have gone through many challenges concerning the right to vote in the past. It would stand to reason that any voter would want integrity and accountability applied to those measures that would make our fore- mothers and fathers proud. However, in this race for Secretary of State, voters concerned with the party of inclusion, the Georgia Democratic Party, is going through and identity crisis.
    A group of concerned voters involved in an E-voting lawsuit joined together at the south wing of the Georgia capitol Monday, October16, 2006. This group comprised of mostly Democrats, a Republican , Constitution, and Libertarian party member joined in solidarity concerning one Secretary of State, Gail Buckner.
    What has these folks in an uproar? Was it taxes, funding for parks, or increased services for the disabled? In an era where vote verifiability is a top voter security priority, the Democratic, hopeful has been less than helpful legislatively for this issue. There were four instances for which she voted against and or ridiculed efforts by legislators to enact a traceable paper audit system.
    A former Democratic Senator Donzella James, was in attendance and spoke before those gathered on this Monday morning to hear this issue. She claimed she “wished she was fortunate enough to have a blue thumb to show others that her vote truly, physically was recorded as new voters in Iraq proudly display

  6. Alright, I’m going to shed a little insight on HB790 since I helped get that bill introduced.

    HB790 was (and still is) a very complicated piece of legislation. The essentials of it is that it requires a hard paper trail to be used as a the official record of the election in cases of a recount; it also requires that random hand counts be conducted in precincts across the state; and finally, it requires that each improvement or change to the DRE units undergo a re-examination and re-certification by the Secretary of State’s office.

    Now I think that HB790 has some flaws which might be worked out in the perfecting process, but I still believe that overall, it’s a good piece of legislation.

    I don’t think it’s right for VoterGA to call on Gail Buckner to drop out of the S.O.S. race. They might have been better if they had just endorsed Karen Handel.

    But, like I said, I’ve worked with the folks at VoterGA before and I have to say that they’re pretty stubborn when it comes to certain things.

  7. A former Democratic Senator Donzella James, was in attendance and spoke before those gathered on this Monday morning to hear this issue. She claimed she “wished she was fortunate enough to have a blue thumb to show others that her vote truly, physically was recorded as new voters in Iraq proudly display

  8. CobbGOPer says:

    Well, all this aside, Gail might as well drop out, she’d save herself alot of money. I find it hard to believe that she had $250K in personal money to loan her primary campaign in the first place (maybe she worked out a nice loan, her husband is on a bank board after all). I haven’t personally looked at the gen.elect. money numbers, but I seem to remember another self-loan of something like $20 or 30K.

    She’s going to drown in debt and still lose.

  9. CobbGOPer says:

    And now that I just looked at her disclosure, she’s worse off than I thought. The loan this period was just for $10K, but her cash-on-hand was only just under $2000.

    Sorry, but that just won’t cut it, even for a down-ballot race. She’s toast. Handel by at least 10%.

  10. Take a moment to google “Garland Favorito.” He’s quite an author on various subjects.

    This group presents itself as experts on the issue that they’ve championed. But they refuse to seriously scrutinize the role of paper in election fraud history. They prefer to deal strictly in hypotheticals about E-voting, rather than looking at what we KNOW about paper and its role in the 2000 election.

    I know some well meaning people that are involved in VoterGA. But they have some rather extreme elements within the group. And if they ever have their way, we’ll all be marking X’s on paper ballots for the rest of our lives.

    Gail’s in a tough spot as it is in this race. She’s facing a future star of the Republican party in Georgia. And now she has to deal with this.

  11. Chris says:

    Button, how do you audit anything that doesn’t produce a line item entry, only spits totals out at you and tells you to trust it recorded everything properly?

    Have you ever used one of those self-checkout stations at the grocery store? I can list off more than a dozen instances where the change it disbursed after the transaction was incorrect. But machines don’t make mistakes, do they?

    Start counting your change when you use those systems and you’ll immediately understand why we want our votes printed out on hardcopy and verifiably to make sure what we entered into the voting machine is what the machine recorded.

  12. Chris,

    I don’t have a problem with improving on the current system to provide the public with a better sense of security about whether or not their vote counted and counted properly. I don’t think anyone is against that. Like anything else new, we need to work through the kinks and improve on what we have.

    People act as if what we used prior to 2002 was so wonderful. As an election official for 12 years, I can tell you it wasn’t. Too many times the different systems didnt function properly, locked up, jammed, or wouldn’t allow for voter correction because of inherent problems built into them, or just because of their age and the difficulty in servicing them.

    The bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission’s report on the 2000 election slammed Georgia and other states for using equipment that would be rejected in third world countries. They criticized our lack of technology as well as our unacceptable and excessive undervote rate. In some counties, up to 7 and 8% of total votes cast were being lost.

    The day after an election was sometimes a nightmare with all of the complaints, questions, and accusations that flew because of sticky levers, people missing candidate’s names or entire races, optical scan ballots not marked properly, and general difficulty in seeing and understanding the ballot. We were forever under the constant scrutiny of elder rights and disabled rights groups because of lack of access inherent with the equipment. Many of their complaints were legitimate.

    Groups that advocate going back to those ways of doing things aren’t helping the elections process. They’re just ignoring those problems.

    The new equipment solved a lot of those problems. But it came with a few of its own. It’s important to acknowledge those problems and make it the best it can possibly be – especially in the areas of concern that you have.

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