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Voting Machine Bill Passes on Party-Line Vote

Oconee County’s three legislators in the Georgia General Assembly last week voted in favor of House Bill 316, which selects new voting machines and responds to allegations that voters last year were denied access, absentee ballots were not counted and vote tallies were incomplete.

The vote on the House bill was partisan, and Sen. Bill Cowsert from the 46th District, Rep. Houston Gaines from House District 117, and Rep. Marcus Wiedower from House District 119, all Republicans, sided with the Republican majority.

All of Oconee County falls into the 46th Senate District, and 10 of Oconee County’s 13 precincts are in the 119th, with the remaining three in the 117th House District.

Clarke County is the dominant part of both the 117th and 119th, by registration, and makes up a significant part of the 46th Senate District.

Rep. Spencer Frye, a Democrat representing House District 118, which falls entirely in Clarke County, voted against the bill.

Sen. Frank Ginn, a Republican whose Senate District 47 includes parts of Clarke County, voted in favor of the bill, which now is on the desk of Gov. Brian Kemp awaiting his expected approval.

The partisan nature of the choice of voting machines surfaced in the February meeting of the Oconee County Democratic Party, where Oconee County Elections and Registration Director Fran Davis spoke on the operation of her office.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.