Dems name voting rights advocate to Georgia election board

Georgia Democrats have nominated an attorney and voting rights advocate to serve on the State Election Board.

Sara Tindall Ghazal would succeed David Worley, who has spent 17 years as the party’s member of the board. The chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Party, U.S. Rep Nikema Williams, announced the nomination of Ghazal.

Ghazal served as a senior advisor to the state Democratic Party’s election runoff campaign in January that saw two Democratic U.S. Senate candidates unseat incumbent Republicans, giving Democrats control of that body. She served as voter protection director for the state party from 2018 to 2019.

Before that, she worked for The Carter Center, which was founded by former President Jimmy Carter and promotes peace, democracy and fair elections around the world.

"Having dedicated her career to promoting free and fair elections, Sara’s expertise and commitment to strengthening our democracy are what Georgia needs right now," Williams said in a news release announcing Ghazal’s nomination. "She was a champion for voting rights when she served the Democratic Party of Georgia as our director of Voter Protection, and I know she’ll continue to represent us well on the State Election Board."

The State Election Board has a chairperson elected by the General Assembly. It also has one member elected by the state House, one elected by the state Senate, one selected by the state Republican Party and one selected by the state Democratic Party.

Until this year, the secretary of state served as chair of the State Election Board, but a sweeping overhaul of election laws enacted during the recent legislative session stripped the office of that power. The secretary of state is now a nonvoting member of the board.

Lawmakers did not appoint a new chair before the session ended, so it will likely be up to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to appoint someone to lead the board until the General Assembly’s next regular session.

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