Republican Secretary of State candidate visits Bainbridge

Published 9:01 am Monday, March 5, 2018

Thursday night the American hosted a meet and greet for Republic Secretary of State candidate, David Belle Isle.

Belle Isle is a sixth generation Georgia resident, but it was his first time taking a trip to Thomasville, Cairo and Bainbridge. However, he really enjoyed the trip and found it as a great opportunity to see Georgia firsthand. In addition to that, he said he has tasted some great barbeque along the way.

Belle Isle’s first stop on his tour was Thomasville, where he hosted a meet and greet at their country club and later at Grassroots. He proudly participated in the ribbon cutting of Thomasville’s newest local business, Hubs and Hops and attended the Thomasville Rotary Club meeting. He said he loved being immersed in the community and seeing the reinvention of Thomasville’s downtown.

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After visiting Thomasville, Belle Isle headed off to Cairo and made his final stop in Bainbridge.

Belle Isle was previously mayor of Alpharetta, Ga. and reinvented their downtown in a way that would be appropriate for their city. One of his main goals for Alpharetta was to be the best at what they do best. Alpharetta was very talented in technology, but sadly no one knew. Belle Isle hosted the state’s first tech convention and CFO’s and CEO’s to their technology products. He wanted to brand Alpharetta as a technology hub worldwide. He launched a technology incubator and created a conference center, suitable to host more technology conventions. Since then, Alpharetta has developed 640 technology companies and created more than 12,000 technical jobs.

He wants Bainbridge to now be known for what they are best at. He said he believes we could become known for agriculture technology. He would like to have members from the Bainbridge community join them at the agtech convention in July, where they will apply technology across agriculture. He hopes to see Bainbridge implement farm incubators that will help farmers and others involved with this collaborate with other industries and provide them with new concepts.

Belle Isle’s second goal is to defeat voter fraud. He has three simple ways that would be beneficial in the long run.

He wants absentee voters to provide a photo ID. He has seen multiple cases of documented abuse, where nursing home residents are sending in votes, when they are not competent enough to understand.

He is asking for proof of citizenship. On the ballot, it gives two options: provide your driver’s license number or provide your social security number. If one has neither, they simply check a box, but can continue to vote. He wants that to stop.

Lastly, he would like to implement a new system. The new system would provide two electronic copies of a person’s vote and one hard copy for the voter. The voter would receive a piece of cardstock with a barcode and simply scan it before they vote. After they are finished, they scan the barcode again and get a printed copy, which provides them with confidence.

Belle Isle believes he can create a difference in these two areas and invites residents to take a look at his campaign promises.