William Duffey Jr.

Gov. Brian Kemp has appointed retired federal judge William Duffey Jr. chairman of the State Elections Board, Kemp announced Friday.

Duffey succeeds Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was removed as board chairman by a provision in a comprehensive election reform law the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed last year in the aftermath of unproven claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

Duffey retired in 2018 from the federal bench, where he served as a district judge for the Northern District of Georgia.

“Judge Duffey has been involved in complex litigation for decades, both as a lawyer and a judge,” Kemp said Friday. “Through his vast experience, he has established himself as a man of integrity who will uphold the highest ethnical standards in his application of the laws of our state and nation.”

Before becoming a judge in 2004, Duffey served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Before that, he was a partner at Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding.

“I have dedicated my career to serving others to seek fair and just results in legal matters,” Duffey said. “Our democracy is founded on citizens participating in the process to elect those who govern them.

“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 has served in a variety of assignments that focused on ethics and integrity. In 2019, he was a member of the City of Atlanta Task Force on the Promotion of Public Trust.

From 2008 to 2015, Duffey represented the United States judiciary on nine trips to Ukraine to make presentations to judges and government officials on the requirement of ethical conduct as the foundation of an independent judiciary in a democracy.

At King & Spalding, Duffey’s practice included ethics counseling, specifically state and local elected officials’ compliance with state ethics requirements.

The State Elections Board promulgates rules and regulations governing state and local elections and adjudicates complaints of voter fraud.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

Dave Williams is the Bureau Chief of Capitol Beat News Service.