ATLANTA (AP) — The search is on for a new person to run elections in Georgia.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday announced that the longtime elections director in his office, Chris Harvey, is leaving at the end of the week. A nationwide search for his replacement is underway, according to a news release from Raffensperger's office.
“His hard work and dedication to this office and the people of Georgia will be missed,” Raffensperger said in the release.
Georgia's elections have been closely watched in recent years, particularly during the 2020 presidential election when the once reliably Republican state gave Democrat Joe Biden a narrow victory. Top officials in the state, including the secretary of state and members of his staff, faced a barrage of criticism from supporters of then-President Donald Trump, who alleged without proof that the election had been stolen.
Harvey was instrumental in the implementation of Georgia's new voting system which includes new touchscreen machines that print paper ballots and which made its statewide debut during last year's primary election in June. He also helped county election officials cope with difficulties posed by COVID-19.
“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,” said Harvey.
Harvey became elections director in 2015, under then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, after having previously served as the office's chief investigator.
Harvey is leaving for a position with the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, which certifies law enforcement officers and sets training standards, among other things.