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Georgia Politics

Senator Sally Harrell Files Legislation to Clarify Burden of Proof Rules for Voter Challenges

This week, Senator Sally Harrell (D – Atlanta) announced that she filed Senate Bill 321 to clarify and strengthen the burden of proof rules for challenging voter eligibility:

The Election Integrity Act of 2021, also known as SB 202, significantly expanded the ability of registered voters to challenge other voters’ eligibility in Georgia. SB 321 details specifics grounds for a legitimate challenge, requires challengers to submit two types of evidence that prove a voter is no longer eligible to vote in their previous jurisdiction, outlines acceptable forms of evidence, and requires challengers to sign an affidavit affirming that they took the appropriate steps to obtain the required proof.

“Voting is a sacred right for all Americans. It shouldn’t be easy to just wipe someone off the voter rolls,” said Sen. Harrell. “A voting challenge is a serious allegation that should be backed up by substantial proof so that we’re protecting voters and not wasting precious county resources on baseless allegations.”

DeKalb County Elections Officials estimate that more than 1,700 voter challenges have been submitted in DeKalb alone since the passage of SB 202. Sen. Harrell filed SB 321 to protect voters and alleviate the strain on county Election Officials and staff.

“The ability to file mass voter challenges has created a burden for Voter Registration and Elections staff, county attorneys, and unpaid Board of Elections members,” said DeKalb County Board of Elections Chair Dele Lowman Smith. “Because of the way the law is written, we are forced to hold hearings regardless of the merits of a challenge, which makes it impossible to plan or predict workload.”

sb321 march 2023

SB 321 was modeled after Washington State’s law that includes detailed burden of proof rules for voting challenges. Read more on SB 321 here.

Sen. Sally Harrell represents the 40th Senate District which includes portions of DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties. She may be reached by phone at (404) 463-2260 or via email at

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