The democratic rights of Georgia residents have suffered under a Republican legislative majority which has only sought to protect their careers and political dominance while sucking up to tyrants like Donald Trump. With SB 202, Republican leaders and legislators punished Georgians for exercising our right to vote in a way that they did not like. As Secretary of State, Manswell is dedicated to taking the following steps to ensure the expansion of voting rights for all Georgians, regardless of partisan nonsense. He will:
- Work to decrease wait times by as much as 60%. With today’s technology, there is no reason any Georgian should wait 5 hours or more to cast their vote. It’s unacceptable. He know what it takes to find solutions, navigate complicated governmental agencies, and get things done.
- Fight to defend and expand automatic voter registration, and advocate for same-day registration. In addition, he will advocate for permanent and portable registration, so that registered voters who have moved within the state can update their registrations when they vote and receive a regular ballot.
- Advocate for broadening online registration for absentee ballots. In addition, he will advocate for a no-excuse permanent absentee voter list so that any registered Georgia voter can apply to automatically receive an absentee ballot in future elections.
- Advocate for the allowance of hand-marked paper ballots in elections.
- Stand against intimidation of voters and poll workers by alleged poll watchers, and will heavily scrutinize poll watcher challenges in order to allow for due process for voters.
- Investigate proposed polling location closures to prevent the reduction of access to the right to vote, and refer to the Attorney-General any closures which negatively-impact minority voters for oversight.
- Establish a nonpartisan commission to build a voter guide on ballot questions for primaries and general elections, so that it will include statements of support, statements of opposition, and rebuttals.
- Advocate for the establishment of a nonpartisan commission to assess the impact of the 2021 redistricting process from city to federal levels
- Advocate for the expansion of ranked-choice voting for all Georgians.
- Advocate for pre-registration of 16 year olds as future Georgia voters.
- Build a case for voting online by phone
- Work to overcome the digital divide for voters
- Launch a new Georgia MyVoter app which carries all features from the GA SOS app but also including:
- request an absentee ballot
- receive personal notifications if one needs to cure an absentee or provisional ballot
- receive notifications if one’s ballot or registration is being challenged
- receive hourly notifications on the average length of lines in one’s precinct during early voting and on the final day of voting
- schedule a notification for when one wants to vote
- access to the voter guide on ballot questions
Cyber Security and Data Protection
21 states’ governments were targeted by international hacking during the 2020 election season. While Georgia was not among these states, Manswell believes that coming this close to a security breach is unacceptable. We have great cyber and IT resources in Georgia, and Manswell will fight to build up these resources to protect residents’ data.
Small Business & Entrepreneurs
Georgia’s population has grown in size, diversity and talent, and so has our body of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Our policy on small business licensing and assistance should be tailored to reflect our diversity. As Secretary of State, Manswell will:
- Call for a study to assess disparity in the marketplace regarding contracting with women- and minority-owned businesses, and take measures to address these disparities.
- Implement and expand an inclusive nondiscrimination policy for providing licensing and other services to residents who wish to license a business in the state.
- VETco – This program will help our Active-Duty members transition to civilian life, and help Veterans transfer their skills into business ownership. They are a valuable community resource. We will partner with major corporations all over the state to assist them in these efforts.
- Annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Tour – This initiative will focus on and highlight the brightest women in business among us, and allow all Georgians to see why women are definitely leading the charge in our state and country.
Campaign Finance & Open Government
In their 2018 States With Anti-Corruption Measures for Public officials (S.W.A.M.P.) Index, Coalition for Integrity rated Georgia 39th among all states when it came to our laws on ethics and transparency. We should be much better, and our laws on government transparency should be stronger. As Secretary of State, Manswell will:
- Strengthen enforcement of existing ethics laws and advocate for greater protections for our ethics institutions, including preventing removal of Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission members without cause as well as strengthening enforcement of ethics laws for both executive and legislative branches.
- Advocate for the usage of open formats and standards for publishing all government data.
- Advocate for the expansion of the Georgia Open Records Act to include state legislators.
- Work to develop, using open-source software, a comprehensive website and database for the presentation of elections results.
- Work to expand residents’ access to, and participation in, city and county governments’ budgetary processes