Former U.S. District Judge William Duffey will become the chairman of the State Election Board, filling a seat left vacant for more than a year since Georgia’s voting law removed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday appointed Duffey to lead the board, which is responsible for reviewing allegations of voting infractions, imposing fines and referring cases to prosecutors.
“I am committed to working with my colleagues on the State Elections Board to perform our duty to protect the integrity of the election process because every Georgia voter is entitled to know their vote is secure and that it counts,” Duffey said in a statement.
Duffey, who was appointed to the federal bench by Republican President Georgia W. Bush in 2004, served as a judge in the Northern District of Georgia until his retirement in 2018. Before becoming a judge, Duffey was the U.S. attorney in the Atlanta-based district.
“Judge Duffey has been involved in complex litigation for decades, both as a lawyer and a judge,” Kemp said. “Through his vast experience, he has established himself as a man of integrity who will uphold the highest ethical standards.”
Georgia’s voting law, Senate Bill 202, ousted Raffensperger from the State Election Board after the 2020 elections, but the General Assembly never nominated a successor. The chairperson is required to be nonpartisan.
The law gave Kemp the duty to appoint a chairperson if the position is vacant, subject to approval of the General Assembly in the next legislative session.
Along with Duffey, the board now has three Republican members and one Democrat as it’s considering ongoing election allegations and a potential takeover of the Fulton County elections board.