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State receives mixed review on election improvements
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A new report out this week gives Georgia a mixed grade on its implementation of recommendations made by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration earlier this year to improve the voting experience of Americans.

Common Cause, a nonprofit liberal advocacy group, analyzed the performance of 10 states with hotly contested local and national races and found none has fully embraced the commission’s advice.

In Georgia, polling shows tight races between Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter, as well as between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue in the state’s U.S. Senate contest.

Common Cause evaluated how well poll workers are trained, the quality of voting machines, access to polls and the language of election materials, among other things.

Georgia received satisfactory grades for its adoption of online voter registration, the use of schools as polling centers, the use of electronic voting machines, its early voting schedule and for providing ballots and registration materials online for military personnel and other citizens stationed abroad.

However, Georgia received an unsatisfactory grade because it does not require audits of voting equipment after each election to ensure it was functioning correctly and can be used again.

The report also gives Georgia an unsatisfactory grade because state law does not require bilingual poll workers at certain sites where large numbers of Hispanic and Latino voters cast ballots.

Finally, Georgia received a mixed assessment for its poll worker training standards.

The Peach State also received a mixed assessment because while it catalogues voter turnout by demographics, it does not do enough to collect data on wait times and other problems at Election Day polling sites.

The report is not without its critics.

“It’s never been easier to register to vote,” said Jared Thomas, spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “We have 159 counties that are working hard every day to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

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