House Bill 511 clarifies rules for the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority, which oversees transit planning and funding in a 13-county region. (AJC FILE PHOTO)

Lawmakers clarify metro Atlanta transit board election rules

Georgia lawmakers have approved legislation that will change the way members are elected to a metro Atlanta transit board.

The Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority oversees transit planning and funding in a 13-county region. Ten of its 16 members are elected by district by state legislators and local elected officials.

House Bill 511 would address ambiguity about election procedures that led to a partisan dispute last year. It specifies that voting must be done in person – not by proxy or by phone.

Most Republicans walked out of an election to fill a board seat last August after Democrats refused to allow several absent Republicans to vote by phone. Republicans said voting had been allowed in a previous election.

HB 511 also would attach the ATL Board to the Georgia Department of Transportation for administrative purposes.

The Senate approved the measure Thursday, and the House of Representatives followed suit on Friday. It now awaits the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp.

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