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Georgia launches elections advisory council

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard, shakes Albany Mayor Willie Adams' hand after introducing him at a news conference Tuesday at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. The two political officials, along with officials from the Economic Development Commission, announced a new push to survey existing business leaders to eliminate hurdles to growth.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard, shakes Albany Mayor Willie Adams' hand after introducing him at a news conference Tuesday at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. The two political officials, along with officials from the Economic Development Commission, announced a new push to survey existing business leaders to eliminate hurdles to growth.

ATLANTA -- Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard is one of 15 people who Secretary of State Brian Kemp has appointed to join him on his Elections Advisory Council.

"I am excited to announce this outstanding group of election leaders who will join me in analyzing opportunities to improve our elections processes at all levels of government," said Kemp, who is Georgia's top election official. "I look forward to beginning our series of public meetings and hearing ideas from all Georgians."

The 16-member council comprises election officials and leaders from across Georgia, including city and county officials, county election directors, representatives from Democratic, Independent, Libertarian and Republican backgrounds, and members of the Georgia General Assembly, Kemp said.

The council, Kemp said, will review the Georgia Election Code and State Election Board Rules in a series of meetings this year, and make recommendations designed to improve and strengthen Georgia's election laws and procedures. The council will look particularly at improvements that create cost savings and increase efficiencies for state, county and local governments, he said.

In addition to Kemp and Sinyard, the council includes state Sens. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, and Hardie Davis, D-Augusta; state Reps. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, and Rusty Kidd, I-Milledgeville; Anne Lewis, general counsel, Georgia Republican Party; Mike Jablonski, general counsel, Democratic Party of Georgia; David Shock, associate professor of political Sscience, Kennesaw State University; Todd Blackwell, Baldwin County probate judge and elections superintendent; Beth Kish, elections and registration manager, Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration; Deborah Marshall, Columbia County elections director; Charlotte Sosebee, Hall County interim elections director; Nancy Boren, director, Muscogee County Office of Elections and Voter Registration; Richard Barclift, elections superintendent, Chickamauga; Charles Schwabe, mayor, Swainsboro.

Two public meetings have been scheduled: 10 a.m., April 27, Georgia Capitol, Room 341, and 1 p.m., May 25, Savannah Marriott Riverfront, 100 General McIntosh Blvd., Savannah.

Georgians can offer their input at council meetings and on the council's website at www.sos.ga.gov/GAEAC.