“We know this process is flawed and it needs extra work,” said state Sen. Gloria Butler, one of the top Democrats in the Georgia Senate. She added that Democrats will push for changes to the statute when the legislative session resumes in January.
The focus of the frustration isn’t just on the hasty timeline. The law said the state Democratic Party’s executive committee had until 4 p.m. Monday to decide whether to replace Lewis on the ballot, but the law doesn’t explicitly specify that a replacement be named by that deadline.
Democrats wanted to leave nothing to chance, wary of a legal challenge that could block them from replacing Lewis’ name if they didn’t submit a new candidate by the deadline. A rewrite of the legislation could offer more clarity.
State Republican legislative leaders closely monitored the vote but issued no comment about whether they will back an overhaul. Democrats note that Republicans, too, could be forced into a crisis.
“After sitting through this executive session, it is even more clear that we need to immediately change the law so that the voters are the ones empowered to vote for their representative,” said state Rep. Bee Nguyen, adding: “What a terrible process.”