After 14 weeks of searching, the Rockdale County Board of Elections is still seeking a third member for its at-large position, traditionally a non-partisan seat, and will re-open the application process.
The Board held a special meeting on Wednesday to choose between finalists Cary Bond and Russel D. Moore III, but the two sitting members, Garvin Haynes and Hilda Westmoreland couldn't agree on a new appointee.
After calling the meeting to session, Chairman Haynes read off highlights from Bond and Moore's applications and called for a vote.
Haynes and Westmoreland handed their votes to Supervisor of Elections, Cynthia Welch, who read off the proposal for Bond by Westmoreland and Moore by Haynes.
The two then discussed their viewpoints on each candidate but couldn't come to a consensus on filling former Chairman Don Cargill's seat, which was left vacant upon his retirement on April 30.
Westmoreland supported Bond, despite the Board of Directors member of the South Rockdale Civic Association's more partisan voting record than Moore.
"I think very strongly that he is a person who caters to the rules completely and absolutely and will stand his ground," Westmoreland said. "I think he makes his mind up according to the rules and makes a stand.
"He makes it known what he thinks and that's what we need."
According to voting records Bond has voted strictly Republican in primaries dating back to 1994, while Moore has voted both Democrat and Republican in primaries dating back to 2000.
Moore's bi-partisan voting is what appealed to Haynes in his vote for the third Board of Elections seat.
"I think Mr. Moore has the capacity to understand the rules as an attorney," Haynes said. "Yet I also think he is a truly unaffiliated, non-partisan independent who is open-minded and well known in the community.
"I think the third person needs to be independent."
Moore is a practicing attorney who has been a Rockdale County voter since 1982.
Bond has also been a Rockdale County voter since the early 80's and stated on his application that he believes the position should be non-partisan.
"I believe that partisan party politics have a place in our society, but not in the operations of the elections board," Bond's application states. "That partisan politics and positions must be left at the door as you enter the business of the Rockdale Board of Elections."
Moore and Bond were two of five applicants for the position which became open to the public on April 19 after a resolution declaring the vacancy was adopted on April 7.
One applicant withdrew their name from consideration and the other four were interviewed twice with the final two candidates decided on July 16.
The search was opened back up for a two week search beginning on Aug. 23.
During the initial search all interviews were conducted in a closed session, but this time will occur during open sessions.
The Board of Elections oversees all voter registration and conducts all Federal, State, County, and local elections in Rockdale County. The two-member board will oversee the July 20 primary.
For more information, contact Cynthia Welch, Supervisor of Elections at the Rockdale Board of Elections Office at (770) 278-7333.