Secretary Handel Applauds Senate Passage of Legislation Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Register to Vote
Atlanta – Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel today applauded Senate passage of legislation that would require applicants for voter registration to provide proof of United States citizenship.
“I want to thank Senator Staton and the bill’s co-sponsors for working with me on this important issue,” Secretary Handel said. “Today, the Senate passed common sense legislation that will further strengthen the integrity and confidence in our elections by ensuring that only U.S. citizens are able to vote.”
Senate Bill 86, sponsored by Sen. Cecil Staton (R-Macon), requires those registering to vote after January 1, 2010 to submit a copy of one of several forms of proof of U.S. citizenship with their application. These include a driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. passport, U.S. naturalization documents or Bureau of Indian Affairs card. Any person who registered to vote prior to January 1, 2010 will not be required to submit evidence of citizenship. Current law only requires those registering to vote to “swear or affirm” that they are a U.S. citizen by checking a box on the voter registration application.
A companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives. House Bill 45, sponsored by Representative James Mills, has been favorably reported out of committee and is awaiting consideration.
Please click here for more information on SB 86 from the Georgia General Assembly website: http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/sb86.htm
Secretary Handel has implemented and successfully defended numerous initiatives to protect Georgia’s elections, including the state’s system to verify the information provided on a voter registration application; the voter identification requirement for in-person voting; and the triple signature check requirement on absentee ballots.
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.