Georgia House Speaker David Ralston says he is forming an Election Integrity Committee to study the state’s election process to make sure it is fair and aboveboard. That’s a good thing — unless, of course, it is a smoke screen to change oversight of elections without a good or valid reason to do so.
It could very well be in the offing. Speaker Ralston indicated in recent weeks it might be a favorable alternative to keeping elections under the umbrella of the people-elected Secretary of State. He now says it can be done without depending on Georgians passing a constitutional amendment to allow it.
Given all the finger-pointing from members of the state’s two largest political parties, with one most always accusing the other of fudging or outright cheating in elections, the last thing Georgia needs is for a political appointee to be in charge of elections. The people of Georgia should continue to elect this person — not politicians, not members of the General Assembly.
Granted, there was a lot of confusion this election year. But put the blame where it belongs, on COVID-19.
Had it not been for the virus, the old rules requiring in-person voting for those capable of it and with presentation of a photo identification would have remained in effect.
Given the potential deadliness of this coronavirus, the state made the right move by permitting all registered voters to check their choices via absentee ballots in the November general election and January runoff. It reflects genuine concern for the welfare of people — putting human beings over politics.
Do we want to check and double-check the integrity of elections in Georgia? Certainly, and by all means, let’s do that. Give it a thorough evaluation and study. Eliminate weaknesses. Solidify the rules.
Those who subscribe to the principles of democracy want fair, untarnished elections. Voters may squawk from time to time when the outcome is not what they wanted, but as long as an election is on the up and up, they know it may be their turn next time.
Let’s keep it that way.