An important bill for political junkies.

Travis Fain has a post about HB 86:

House Bill 86, sponsored by state Rep. Fran Millar, would require local election offices to report the early votes (identified as absentee in the law) as being cast in the precincts where the early voter lives.

Millar said that, in his last election, 48 percent of the people who voted for him voted early. That makes precinct-by-precinct counts nearly worthless.

“When it was less than 10 percent of the vote (being cast early), it didn’t really matter much. …” Millar said. “When people get comfortable doing this, we’re going this route.”

The general public wouldn’t care about this but how in the world are we supposed to run a campaign without knowing how each precinct votes? Kudos to Millar for dropping this bill.

BTW, I think Gwinnett County (and probably other counties) already does this.

UPDATE: Since I posted this I’ve learned a few things.

Gwinnett did add early votes by precinct as would be required by Millar’s bill. It was part of a pilot program that tested the technological upgrades necessary to make reporting early voting by precinct possible. It worked well and should be ready to go statewide in plenty of time for the next election.

Another item that’s being looked at is the need for uniformity in reporting of results. Counties need to report early, absentee, and election day voting in the same order. That didn’t happen last November. As you’ll recall some national media outlets called Georgia for Saxby not understanding that in many counties (like Gwinnett) early votes had not yet been reported. Early votes went heavily to the Democrats and…well you all remember what happened. Uniformity is reporting is most certainly needed.


  1. MikeS says:

    Good bill would make my job easier. Plus add back the recoding of voter’s age in their voter files. I cannot target elderly voters or young voters without knowing their age.

  2. joe says:

    This bill must be defeated. It has no merit other than to make life easier for politicians and their staff. Who cares if your life is easy? I want to fire all of you anyway.

  3. Budget should get interesting. I do like this bill though. Haven’t yet seen a Senate equivalent, so I’ll have to start calling the local Reps. Heck, if I can actually manage to get caught up with everything else at SWGA Politics, this might even rate its own post there as well.

    The problem is the sheer amount of volume I’ve got to get caught up on over there! 🙁

  4. bowersville says:

    From a grass roots perspective, I can see where this bill will help unseat or seat on the BOE and BOC races.

    Will the early voting also list party preference? I’m assuming so.

  5. DoubleDawg3 says:

    It also matters at the County Convention level as well. In my county, I would be willing to beat a lot of money on the fact that my precinct had the highest early voting numbers, due to the fact that the precinct is very large, geographically, and that the voting location was much further than many residents homes in that precinct than the registrar’s office in town. So…my precinct had the highest early voting numbers, but according to the GOP (if I understand correctly), those early votes are split according to the percentages of how many votes were cast for McCain in that precinct compared to the overall number of McCain votes in the county.

    Under that approach, my precinct ends up with the 3rd highest delegate total, but truth be known, I’m betting that if early votes were attributed to each precinct, my precinct would have the 2nd, or possibly highest, number of delegates at the County Convention.

    So – the bill corrects that problem too, which is great. Good work.

  6. eburke says:

    So the taxpayers will have to find the money to separate the early vote totals by precinct just so the politicians can have better data. I don’t think this is a good use of tax revenue when we are having to cut back in so many other areas.

  7. Bill Simon says:


    That is but one benefit of this. The main reason why they should is because it allows for an integrity check of the data. If you didn’t track the early votes/absentee votes back to the original precincts, you wouldn’t be able to guarantee that the ballot wasn’t stuffed with more votes occuring in a precinct than what would be allowed by law to even exist IN that precinct.

    Accuracy and accountability are what is important here.

    NOT that it would do anything to help clean-up the crap in Fulton County election’s board. As long as that county is run by Democrats, corruption and incompetence will continue to exist at the level it shows itself to exist EVERY single cycle.

  8. DoubleDawg3, would it matter that much? I mean, did you have a huge turnout from your precinct at the 80k Precinct Mass Meeting? Or, if you’re in a <80k county, do you expect a huge turnout from your precinct in the meeting before the county convention?

    Most of the Mass Meetings, as usual, weren’t able to fill all of the delegate seats they were entitled to. It’s great if yours is!

  9. Game Fan says:

    I like it. What’s so hard about counting early votes early? We’ve seen some real “shady shenanigans” over the last few years, the most recent being the fiasco in Minnesota with Al Franken. Did he win or what? Counting the absentee ballots early gives more time and opportunity for the public to cry foul if things don’t add up.

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