Georgia elections director departs for police oversight job

Georgia’s elections director, Chris Harvey, is leaving the secretary of state’s office to join the agency that handles police officer certification.

Harvey, who oversaw last year’s elections as the state installed a new voting system, will become the deputy director for the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Harvey praised election officials for “fighting for truth, justice and integrity” during contentious elections.

“When I reflect on the many years I have spent fighting for the integrity of Georgia’s elections, I am most proud of the successful elections we executed in November 2018 and 2020,” Harvey said in a statement. “Thanks to the hard work of the secretary of state’s office and county elections offices, we saw record-breaking registration and turnout.”

Harvey worked in district attorney offices in DeKalb and Fulton counties before joining the secretary of state’s office in 2007 as an elections investigator. In 2015, when Brian Kemp was secretary of state, Harvey became Georgia’s elections director.

“Chris Harvey has been a pillar of the elections division since day one and has been there in the trenches as we defended the integrity of our elections first from baseless accusations of voter suppression, then baseless accusations of voter fraud,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.

Harvey prepared local election officials to use Georgia’s new voting machines, which print out paper ballots, and he coordinated distribution of protective equipment to poll workers statewide. He also helped create the state’s absentee ballot request website and worked with counties to reduce lines in November’s election, which averaged about 3 minutes on Election Day.

Raffensperger has begun a nationwide search for a new elections director, which paid a salary of $107,000 in fiscal 2020.