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Changes to end elections board gridlock to be proposed
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After unsucessfully trying to meet with local legislators for months, the Rockdale County elections board finally found a sponsor for a bill to end gridlock on the third member appointments, among other changes.

During the first elections board meeting chaired by newly appointed third member William Todd on Tuesday, Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch said that state Senator Rick Jeffares had agreed to sponosor a bill with the requested changes to the board's enabling act. The bill has not yet been filed, but the notice of intent for legislation - the first step in the process - was advertised on Friday, said Welch.

All six members of the Rockdale delegation had been sent the requested changes and the board had been seeking a meeting with legislators for months, said Welch.

She said the board "did not get a response back other than Senator Jeffares."

The requested changes would make the Rockdale County Superior Court Judge the decider if the two partisan members of the elections board come to a stalemate in appointing the third, at large member - the situation that unfolded multiple times over the past year. 

Another option that had been discussed to close this loophole in the enabling act, but not included in the requested changes, was to make the Board of Commissioners the decider in case of a stalemate.

In the requested changes, the two partisan elections board members could recommend one candidate each but the Superior Court Judge would not be bound to pick among those nominees and could choose any nominee, explained Welch.

Another change would be to allow the elections board to determine where it would hold its meetings instead of the Board of Commissioners.


In other elections board business:

In-person early voting for the March 6 ballot, which has the presidential preference primary and the Sunday alcohol sales special election in Conyers and Rockdale, will begin on Monday, Feb. 13. The polling place will be at 1400 Parker Road, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The polls will also be open for Saturday voting on Feb. 25, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at 1400 Parker Road.

The next elections board meeting will be Saturday, March 10, 1 p.m., at 1400 Parker Road, when the elections board will certify the results of the March 6 primary and special election.