A Dentons partner from Atlanta nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg enjoyed an easy time before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
The toughest question for Randy Evans, who sat with four other State Department nominees, came from Sen. Christopher Coons, a Delaware Democrat. He asked Evans about his role on the State Elections Board in 2006 during litigation and implementation of Georgia’s law requiring voters to show photo identification. “It’s a concern for a number of my colleagues,” Coons said.
Evans recalled that in 2006 the law was passed, and in September of that year the State Elections Board mailed letters to about 330,000 voters who may not have had photo identification explaining how to obtain it. A judge then enjoined the law, but some letters arrived after the injunction. Another letter was sent to voters saying photo identification would not be required in the fall 2006 election.
Considering the prospect of the state prevailing on appeal, Evans said he insisted that photo identification not be required in the next election. “I felt very strongly that would create too much confusion,” he said. The law eventually was upheld.
In response to a question about NATO, Evans noted that Luxembourg doesn’t pay as much money as the defense alliance agreements require, and he promised to use his skills to help boost the country’s share. “I’ve made a pretty decent living out of getting more money out of people than they wanted to [give],” he said.
Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia who sits on the panel, noted that, when he was running against Zell Miller for governor, Evans played Miller in mock debates. Isakson lost the election, but he credited Evans for teaching debate skills.
Isakson said, as a real estate salesman, he used selling techniques in debates. “Randy taught me the tougher edge,” he said.