Why I voted for heartbeat bill, update to voting machines

Published 4:26 pm Thursday, March 28, 2019

Randy Robertson
Represents Georgia’s 29th Senate District

Over the past two weeks, the Senate convened its ninth and 10th legislative weeks and heard a number of issues both on the Senate floor and in our committees.

I’ll review what these measures do and explain why I think these pieces of legislation are vast improvements on current law and explain how they will directly impact your life.

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The first, House Bill 316, is a bill that would update our 16-year-old voting machines and implement a new system.

This new type of voting machine is similar to the old machines in that you make your candidate selections on a touch screen, but a paper receipt of your ballot would be printed for your review.

After looking over your paper ballot receipt, you would scan a bar code that would officially submit your selections.

There was some testimony as to why hand marked paper ballots should be used as an alternative, as some thought they would cost less and be more secure with “human readable” text.

This was easily debunked through evidence from experts. Most of the people who want hand marked paper ballots are wary of a bar code that would be used to submit the official ballot on our new machines brought forth by HB 316.

But, bar codes are on everything, even hand marked paper ballots. Additionally, we heard from county election officials from across the state who asked for us not to consider hand marked paper ballots as they would be a huge financial burden to local governments.

House Bill 481, which you’ve probably heard referred to as the “heartbeat” or “LIFE” bill, is a pro-life measure that would ensure that our state’s most vulnerable population, the unborn, are protected and treated as people under the law.

This bill passed the Senate last Friday and represents one of the most robust pro-life legislation in the United States.

Lastly, I want to mention to you a provision I’m actively trying to gain support for in the Senate. Senate Bill 148 would allow for evidence proving if someone was or was not wearing a seatbelt in an accident to be admissible in court cases.

This is a life saving measure, as I hope it will encourage everyone to wear their seatbelt. As a retired law enforcement officer, I have seen the first hand result of not being secured in your car. Seat belts are essential, and there is no excuse for not wearing one.

The next few weeks will be especially interesting because it concerns taxes. As all tax bills must originate in the House, we’re going to be hearing many of those in the Senate.

I’ll be sure to keep an eye on these to ensure tax legislation is fair and that there is a positive return on investment.