In the wake of Karen Handel’s resignation, Voter GA has sent out a press release for a group called “VOTER” calling on Gov. Sonny Perdue to appoint a political independent to oversee elections:
A voting rights group announced today that it has sent a letter to Governor Sonny Perdue, stating what may be critical qualifications for the new Secretary of State (SOS) he will appoint. The group, Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia, is a diverse, non-partisan, technology neutral, coalition of Georgia voters and organizations. They contend that the new secretary “should be independent of both major political parties” and “have no direct or indirect ties with the voting machine vendor lobbyist, Massey and Bowers.” They believe that the lobbyist “has been allowed to exercise undue influence and control over the office of the Secretary of State for the last 8 years to benefit the vendor.”
The letter cites examples for both the current and previous secretaries. It explains that in 2002 despite numerous warnings, SOS Cathy Cox, entered into an agreement to purchase $54 million in voting equipment from Diebold Election Systems while her former boss, Lewis Massey was a lobbyist for the vendor. The group also contends that the equipment did not have an independent audit trail of each vote cast as required by law at the time. Since then, the equipment has been the subject of intense national scrutiny and ridicule. Diebold recently spun off the division, renamed it Premier Election Systems and is attempting to sell it to ES&S.
Whoever Perdue appoints would sit hold the office until January 2011, assuming they don’t seek re-election.
You can view the full press release here.