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Marred By Lobbying Conflicts, Georgia Election Board Member Resigns

Georgia State Election Board member Ed Lindsey’s Friday resignation comes months after The Federalist uncovered his history of voting on cases involving clients he lobbied for.

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Georgia State Election Board (SEB) member Ed Lindsey resigned his post on Friday, months after The Federalist uncovered his history of voting on cases before the board involving clients he lobbied for.

“I very much am concerned about this coming election, and I want to make sure that regardless of the outcome, that folks can have confidence in the accuracy of the results,” Lindsey said in a statement. “I enjoyed being part of the process to make that happen, and I wish my successor luck in getting the state through 2024.”

Lindsey was appointed to serve on the SEB by Georgia’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives in January 2022.

Friday’s revelation came nearly two months after The Federalist reported that Lindsey presided over several cases involving DeKalb and Cobb Counties during his time as an SEB member. According to Georgia lobbyist registration and disclosure reports, not only is Lindsey registered as a lobbyist for the governments of DeKalb and Cobb Counties, he’s also a lobbyist for Dentons US LLP, a global law and lobbying firm that was contracted with both localities as recently as last year.

Lindsey also previously lobbied on behalf of the National Vote at Home Coalition, a left-wing organization that pushes insecure mail-in voting policies and notably interfered in the 2020 election to the benefit of Democrats.

According to the Georgia SEB’s Code of Conduct, members of the board are required to “avoid any appearance of conflict and/or impropriety” and are expected to recuse themselves from any matter before the SEB in which the member or member’s employer has provided services to a “respondent, complainant, or witness.” State law also prohibits members of state boards from “engag[ing] in any business with the government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of his governmental duties.”

When pressed on why he resigned from the State Election Board, Lindsey provided The Federalist with a copy of his resignation letter. Sent to Speaker Jon Burns on May 16, Lindsey described conversations the two purportedly had earlier this year about how “the 2024 election year will be a challenging one for the SEB and all of Georgia’s election officials, as the State will face complex, and at times over heated, election issues, claims, and counter claims over the coming months.”

Lindsey noted how his current term on the board has expired and his role was now that of a “holdover appointee,” but added that he has “expressed that [he] was willing and prepared, if necessary, to stay on during this contentious election year until [Burns was] ready to appoint [his] replacement.”

“In our talk yesterday, you informed me that you have found someone to appoint and wish to do so this week,” Lindsey wrote. “My reading of the statute at this point in the year is that technically in order for you to be able to do so, I need to resign to give you that ability. Therefore, effective at Noon, May 17, I hereby resign my position as a Member of the State Election Board in order for you to appoint my replacement.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Burns selected Janelle King to replace Lindsey on Friday. A conservative media figure and former deputy director of the Georgia GOP, King is “the co-chairwoman of the conservative political action committee Let’s Win For America Action with her husband, Kelvin King, a Republican and former candidate for the U.S. Senate.”

Speaking about her appointment on Friday, King said she believes it’s the SEB’s job to uncover any potential irregularities in elections, including those that occurred in the 2020 election.

“If there is clear evidence that nothing happened, or clear evidence that something happened, that’s what I’m going to lean toward, and that’s where I was even in 2020,” she said. “I’m going to continue to lean into clear facts and evidence, and let that be the decision maker.”

Lindsey’s resignation came days after he cast a deciding vote in a case before the board involving the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections and its purported violations of election laws during the 2020 election. As my colleague Brianna Lyman previously reported, the county double-scanned more than 3,000 ballots during the state’s 2020 presidential recount.

While Lindsey acknowledged the “clear evidence that in 2020 there were numerous violations of regulations and statutes,” he voted against sending the matter to the state attorney general for further investigation. According to the Georgia Recorder, Lindsey’s motion — which the SEB approved — “allows the county to avoid paying a fine or having the attorney general investigate the double-counting of 3,075 ballots and other allegations of irregularities during the 2020 presidential recount.”

Lindsey also helped defeat a resolution brought before the SEB earlier this year that would have sent a recommendation to the Georgia General Assembly to repeal no-excuse mail-in balloting.


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