Karen Handel has been in office just over a year. With more than 700,000 corporations registered in Georgia, her office is always busy. In her first year, there were over 300,000 corporations that were delinquent in paying their annual registration fees. In trying to update the list of active corporations, all of them had to be contacted and told to pay up or go away. The result, Karen’s office collected over $2 million in delinquent fees.
Karen warns of a scam making the rounds in Georgia. A lot of people have received documents from a corporation by the name of “Georgia Corporate Compliance” offering to prepare documents and provide services under the pretense they are required by the law. The information may look official, but it is not. IT IS A SCAM and you should notify the Secretary of State’s office. Karen has asked the Attorney General’s office to investigate further.
For more information on what is going on in the SOS office, check out the Newsroom.
Between now and July 1, 2008 a lot of effort is being directed at licensing tens of thousands of general contractors in the State. Georgia was one of the last states to regulate contractors, both commercial and residential. The new requirements provide minimum standards regarding proof of competency and financial responsibility. Anyone dealing with a general contractor should definitely read the Rules applicable to contractors.
And then, of course, there are the elections, beginning with the Presidential Primary on February 5, 2008. There has been a lot of controversy about the electronic voting machines and paper ballot verification. Georgia won’t have paper ballot verification any time soon, but Karen offers a lot of assurance that the machines and processes used in Georgia will give us an accurate vote.
A lot of the problems with electronic voting machines are the result of human error. Some states simply don’t go to the expense of providing the manpower and training to insure that machines operate properly. Karen will have the manpower on election day to be able to have a representative of her office in any precinct in the state within an hour of any report of a problem. There will also be monitoring of absentee ballots.
As for the paper ballot, you may recall there was a pilot project in the 2006 general election. You can read the official report on this project. Because of the enormous expense and changes in technology, most of the states are not going forward with any plans to implement paper ballot verification. You can find out more about this issue nationwide at electionline.org.
Not only that, but everyone expects the federal government to enact minimum federal standards for voting machines and paper verification. There is no need to guess what those standards will be and purchase expensive techonology that may not end up being what is required. Karen also advised that there is a bill in Congress to change voting processes by the November 2008 elections. Karen thinks this would be impossible to accomplish in such a short period of time and irresponsible in even attempting to do so. For more information on verified voting, check out VoteTrustUSA.
By the way, Karen wants to make sure that everyone brings their Photo ID to the voting precinct.