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01 August 2008

Guest Blogger: Karen Handel, Secretary of State

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel penned the following response to an open letter I posted here earlier this week. Secretary Handel, thanks for responding and thanks for reading. -Andre

Dear Andre:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to your open letter and to address concerns that have been voiced about Voter Registration drives in Georgia.

Sometimes things that have been passed on second, third, and fourth hand end up causing more confusion than if someone had just bothered to pick up the phone or send an email asking about a particular problem or question.

To date, the Elections Division has provided tens-of-thousands of voter registration forms to representatives of political campaigns and individuals. This is in addition to those that have been distributed through local elections officials. All we have asked of the parties and the candidates is that they work with us on the distribution of the forms, as we simply cannot maintain the entire supply at the Elections Division offices near the Capitol.

For example, we have had individuals claiming to represent a campaign or party show up Friday afternoon asking for 5,000 forms when we had just provided thousands of forms to another representative of the group just a couple of days before. There has also been some confusion over the past practice of the Elections office (from previous administrations) to restrict the number of forms distributed to 10,000 for a party or campaign and 300 for an individual during an election cycle.

It is my policy — which has been communicated to staff — that we are going to do everything possible to accommodate virtually any individual or organization who requests forms from our office. My only concern is that we are able to fairly accommodate as many people as possible.

Additionally, you should know that my staff has met with and is working directly with the campaigns and parties (regardless of affiliation) to address these concerns, provide forms and any other election information that is requested.

Please know that we are doing everything we can to address these and other concerns this election cycle.

Sincerely,

Karen

Karen C. Handel
Georgia Secretary of State