Will Georgia legislature take over Secretary of State role?
ATLANTA (WDEF) – Georgia House Speaker David Ralston from Ellijay is proposing a big change to the Secretary of State’s office.
He is proposing a Constitutional amendment to change the office from elected to appointed.
Current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was elected to his office, so he can’t be fired.
But Speaker Ralston would rather seen the job chosen by the legislature.
The legislature would have to approve the bill and then it would go to the voters.
Right now, Tennessee is one of 3 states that appoint their Secretaries of State, not elect them.
Of course Raffensperger is in the middle of the election turmoil in Georgia.
Even though he is a Republican himself, party leaders from the President to the two U.S. Senators have called for his resignation, saying he did a poor job of running the general election.
A deputy for Raffensperger calls the Ralston proposal a “power grab.”
But Ralston maintains “When the Secretary of State refuses to fulfill his Constitutional duties to answer questions from House members, it comes time to re-evaluate how that statewide officer is selected.”
He was referring to a House Government Affairs Committee on the election process on Thursday.
But the Secretary of State’s Office declined to participate.
“I have great personal respect for our current Secretary of State; however, I cannot ask the members of the House of Representatives to face questions about our elections and their integrity without the cooperation of the Secretary of State’s Office,” said Speaker Ralston.
“It is unfair to the members of the House of Representatives and those Georgians they represent. As Speaker of the House, I must advocate for our chamber, and that is what I am doing by advancing this proposal.”
He also cited examples of the Secretary taking steps without getting legislative approval, like signing a consent agreement that changed the process for signature verification and sending out absentee ballot applications to every registered voter.