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Georgia Secretary of State Handel Responds to Supreme Court Decision
Atlanta, Ga.—Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court of Georgia decision in Handel v. Powell:
“While I certainly respect today’s decision by the Georgia Supreme Court, I am nevertheless disappointed and very concerned about its potential impact.
“The law says that the homestead “shall be the legal residence and domicile of the applicant for all purposes whatever.” The Supreme Court held, today, that “all purposes whatever” does not include a candidate’s residency. With this, “residency” will now be determined by a largely subjective set of criteria, including a candidate’s self-avowed “intent.” Unfortunately, this ruling paves the way for an avalanche of residency claims during future candidate qualifying periods and may even affect residency determinations in other areas, such as voter registration. This leaves the Secretary of State’s office with no clear standard upon which to evaluate them. While the Supreme Court had an opportunity to bring clarity and consistency to the interpretation of our laws, this ruling unfortunately will have a very real – and negative – impact on the administration of future elections.”