Georgia elections officials get training on new voting system

Jan. 16—ATLANTA — The Secretary of State's Election Division hosted Elections officials from all 159 Georgia counties in Athens last week for 2 1/2 days of interactive, high-level training on Georgia's Voter Registration and Information System, or GARViS 2023 SOS.

GARViS will replace Georgia's current voter registration system, eNET, in time for the 2024 presidential election cycle.

Breakout sessions were conducted giving officials an opportunity for peer-to-peer networking, sharing standard operating procedures, hands-on training, and more. During each training session, attendees were recognized via video and in-person messages from guest speakers nationwide, making note that Georgia elections lead the nation. Guest speakers included U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Thomas Hicks, former Agriculture Commissioner of Georgia Gary Black, State Election Board Chairman William Duffey, Chris Harvey, deputy director of the Georgia Peace Officers and Training Council, and Nick D'Andrea, vice president of State Government Affairs at UPS.

Video recognition also was sent by nearly a dozen business and civic leaders from across the state of Georgia, including Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer, UPS CEO Carol Tome, Atlanta Hawks Owner Tony Restler, and many more. Each speaker echoed the theme of the conference: "Georgia Leads ... the nation!"

"This conference and the launch of a new voter registration and information system brought county officials from across the state together, under one roof," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a news release. "Hands down, Georgia's election directors are among the best our nation has to offer. The stand-out performance of these officials are why we proudly themed the conference 'Georgia Leads ... the nation!'"

A kickoff dinner was held on Wednesday evening as a courtesy event hosted by the Secretary of State's Office. This dinner was a chance to celebrate the excellence of Georgia's election workers, and specifically honor several county election offices that have demonstrated excellence in leading Georgia elections over the past year. They were recognized for their leadership with several awards given by the Elections Division Staff. Former Gov. Nathan Deal spoke to attendees and praised them for their work.

Georgia has been recognized as the No. 1 state for Election Integrity by the Heritage Foundation, as well as achieving a top ranking for voter convenience by the Center for Election Innovation & Research.