For Immediate Release
May 7, 2024   

(646) 673-4191
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New Georgia Project Launches New Tool Indicating Nearly 90 Percent of Georgia’s County Boards of Elections Need Improvement 

NGP’s new Board of Elections accountability report card provides much needed transparency and insight amidst a critical election year. 

(Atlanta, Georgia) – New Georgia Project (NGP) is proud to launch ngp.org/BOE—a first-of-its-kind, interactive tool that publicly documents the behaviors of Boards of Elections (BOE) in all of Georgia’s 159 counties. In the style of a “report card,” NGP has assigned each county a grade A-F based on a variety of criteria—including whether a BOE shares meeting minutes online, allows for public comment, and has made recent changes to the number of polling locations offered. Voters, election officials, and members of the media are encouraged to use this tool to hold those in power accountable to their duties to uphold a fair and accessible democracy.  

“Georgia voters deserve transparency and open communication about how their elections are being administered, and New Georgia Project is taking the first step in providing that,” says Stephanie Jackson Ali, Policy Director for New Georgia Project. “County Boards of Elections play a critical role in our state; they have the power to choose whether to expand access to the ballot box or restrict it. What’s upsetting but not surprising is that 142 out of 159 counties received C, D, or F grades. Moving forward, will they be more accountable to voters, or will they continue to be too busy hearing challenges that could kick them off the rolls? Georgians deserve to know. That’s why NGP has done the exhaustive and necessary work of documenting the actions and practices of every single county Board of Elections across the state of Georgia, so that no Board can say they ‘didn’t know’ and every voter has access to the information they need to hold their leaders accountable. Better grades are well within reach; many of the improvements needed to score higher can be easily made at the local-level by BOE officials who are willing or at the state-level by providing more resources for our severely underfunded elections administration. NGP is ready to work with any of our elections officials who want some extra credit.”  

New Georgia Project has plans to update the BOE report card biennially, in hopes of seeing improvement and increased accountability. This tool is a product of the organization’s ongoing Peanut Gallery program, which trains community volunteers and deploys them to Boards of Elections meetings across the state to take notes, provide testimony, and document the decisions that often get made in the dark.  

“The time has come to pull back the curtain on shady, political power moves made at the expense of voters' rights. Our democracy is at its healthiest when it is operating in broad daylight, with the full participation of an informed electorate,” says Starla Tanner, Chief Operating Officer for New Georgia Project. “What we’re trying to do at NGP is not only hold powerful people accountable, but help our communities and voters recognize the power in themselves. We are building a future where voters are attending Boards of Elections meetings, asking important questions, and demanding necessary answers—all on their own. When voters are equipped with the information they need and an understanding of their ability to create change, they are unstoppable.”  

Mere months away from critical local, state, and federal elections, New Georgia Project urges Georgia’s Boards of Elections to assess their current standing and take their responsibilities seriously. Voters deserve as much access, time, and information as possible to exercise their democratic rights. Come November, all eyes will be on Georgia once again. On the most important test yet, it would be an honor to score an A.  

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