Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Secretary Handel Announces Enactment of Project VoteSafe

Program will Protect Abuse Victims throughout Voting Process

Yesterday Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel announced enactment of Project VoteSafe, a program to ensure that individuals under protective orders or residents of family violence centers are protected from having their addresses exposed during the voting process. Governor Sonny Perdue signed the enabling legislation, House Bill 227, into law Friday.

Project VoteSafe, sponsored by Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), applies to citizens who have received a protective order issued by a court and to residents of family violence shelters. These individuals would be eligible to confidentially register to vote without their voter registration information becoming available as public information.

“I want to thank Governor Perdue for signing this important legislation and Representative Dempsey for her leadership in passing Project VoteSafe,” Secretary Handel said. “Georgia citizens should not fear for their safety while trying to exercise their right to vote.”

House Bill 227 received overwhelming support in the Georgia General Assembly, passing by a margin of 155 to three in the House and 50 to zero in the Senate.

Representative Dempsey said, “I’m delighted that Governor Perdue signed this common sense bill into law. It has been an honor to work with Secretary Handel to ensure that individuals in need of protective orders, such as victims of domestic abuse or stalking, have the opportunity to register and vote without the fear of being located by those wishing to do them harm.”

The Project VoteSafe legislation allows the Secretary of State’s Office to implement the mechanism by which an individual’s information will be kept private.

Please click here for more information on HB 227 from the Georgia General Assembly website: http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/hb227.htm.

Karen Handel was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2007. The Secretary of State's office offers important services to our citizens and our business community. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.
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