AUGUSTA, Ga. – I have been a poll worker and precinct manager in Georgia for going on 16 years. I have no personal experience of what took place in the South prior to moving to Columbia County after retiring from the Army, but in the past 27 years of living in Evans, I have voted in every election and runoff and have never witnessed any issue of voter suppression.
During my military career, I served in eight foreign countries and believe I have a pretty fair definition of real voter suppression. Based on my experience as a poll worker and precinct manager, anyone who made the effort and was registered to vote was allowed to do so. Also, my experience voting in other states is that Georgia has gone out of its way since 2001 to accommodate all voters. Absentee ballots were issued to military personnel or a Georgia registered voter who was eligible.
I sincerely believe that no fraud took place in the last election and runoff and I saw no issues with machines changing votes. I do, however have strong feelings that ballot harvesting/collecting (GA Code Ann., para 21-2-385) of absentee ballots happened on a grand scale. Unfortunately, this practice is difficult to prove and is seldom reported.
I completely endorse the new laws enacted by the state of Georgia that limit absentee ballots to only those individuals that show a need to have one, the removal of drop boxes except those that are manned, and I fully endorse picture IDs for absentee ballots the same as the requirement for in-person voting.