Rockdale County may have to hold two additional elections for 2014 at a total cost of $134,000 as a result of a federal judge's ruling issued last month.
The order was issued after the State of Georgia was sued by the United States Department of Justice last year for non-compliance with the federal voting timeline that ensures enough time is held between elections for military personnel serving overseas to submit ballots.
As it stands currently, the two additional elections that all Georgia counties will be required to hold will be a second primary and a general election runoff in accordance with the federal elections calendar.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a written statement that there is a strong possibility the 2014 federal and state voting calendars will be merged to avoid holding two sets of elections. For that to happen, the state's July 15, 2014 primary election will be moved up and merged with the June 3, 2014 federal primary, and the state's December 2, 2014 run-off election will be moved out and merged with the federal run-off scheduled for January 6, 2015.
"The secretary of state's goal is to ask the legislature to change the current election dates," Rockdale Superintendent of Elections Cynthia Welch said when the issue was discussed during Thursday’s Board of Elections meeting. She said it is possible the matter will be addressed during the next session of the state legislature after lawmakers failed to visit the issue in this year's session.
"This is one of the areas where you are not just talking about changing the date (of the elections), but also changing qualifying from April 28 to March 17," Welch said. "So that will also be an issue as to will they want to qualify that early? All of those things will be taken into account.”