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.