More changes to the elections system: Kemp signs bills abolishing current elections board, replacing it with a 5-member group: 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans and a County Commission appointee.

More changes to the elections system: Kemp signs bills abolishing current elections board, replacing it with a 5-member group: 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans and a County Commission appointee.

 

Context: Earlier this year, the Georgia Legislature altered the state’s voting laws following massive turnout and the state’s stunning majority vote for Joe Biden as well as the subsequent election of two U.S. senators, both Democrats. This week, the Republican-dominated state House and Senate abolished Floyd County’s three-member elections board, replacing it with a five-member panel set to include two Democrats, two Republicans and a fifth member appointed by the County Commission (all members of the GOP). 

Edited from a media release: Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bills 8EX and 9EX into law on Friday, abolishing the existing three-member elections board and replacing it with expanding it to five people — two from the Democratic Party, two Republicans and a third member appointed by the Floyd County Commission.

The legislative package was sponsored by all members of the Floyd County Legislative Delegation. The Georgia House overwhelmingly passed the two bills on Monday, Nov. 15, and the state Senate gave final passage to the bills on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

House Bill 8EX reestablishes the Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration on Dec. 1. The board members will serve four-year terms, and the first members will begin their work as soon as the board is established.

Also, the County Commission will appoint an election supervisor. The supervisor will serve as staff support for the board, attend meetings of the board, assist the board in fulfilling its duties of voter registration and the conduct of elections and provide daily supervision of other county employees who assist the board. The election supervisor will be considered a full-time county employee and cannot be a member of the elections board.

In order to revamp the board of elections, House Bill 9EX dissolves the current structure of Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration.

For more information about HB 8EX, please click here.

For more information about HB 9EX, please click here.


 

THE LATEST

The Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration will be changing as the Senate has approved both House bills to alter the board. Basically the old board is abolished and a new five-member panel will be appointed including two from the Democratic party, two from the Republican party and one appointed by the Floyd County Commission (all five commissioners are Republicans.

  • On Thursday, the state Senate passed a sweeping consent the bill that included the Floyd proposals and several others. Final votes:, 38-1 with 17 not voting. Supporting the bill: state Sen. Bruce Thompson. State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler did not vote.

HB 8EX, or the Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration reconstitute and reestablish push, passed a vote in the Georgia House on Monday by a 150 to 7 margin with 23 others not voting or excused. Voting in favor were sponsors and incumbent Republican representatives Mitch Scoggins, Katie Dempsey and Eddie Lumsden. Also voting yes were Polk’s Trey Kelley and Cartersville’s Matt Gambill. 

  • On Thursday, the state Senate passed the bill, 38-1 with 17 not voting. Supporting the bill: state Sen. Bruce Thompson. State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler did not vote.

HB 9EX, or Floyd County; Board of Elections and Registration; provide for abolition, passed by the same margins and votes. It also moves to the state Senate.


PREVIOUSLY

The Floyd County Board of Elections & Registration had scheduled interviews with four candidates to be the next elections clerk as part of a Special Called Session on Friday, Nov. 12. That has now been postponed. The announcement:

“The Board of Elections has determined that in light of the pending legislation (to alter the board’s membership), we cannot in good faith move forwrd with the scheduled interviews for chief clerk on Friday. We have decided to postpone those interviews,” says Dr. Melanie Conrad, chair of the board, in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Vanessa Waddell continues to serve as interim chief clerk as she has since Robert Brady left the job in November 2020.

The candidate interviews had been set for 9, 10 and 11 a.m. as well as 2 p.m.

At issue is the status of the elections board itself. These items have been filed by local legislators to basically abolish the three-person current board and then appoint a new board. What’s new is the board make-up: Republicans would appoint two members, Democrats would appoint two members; and the County Commission would appoint the fifth member. Note that all five Floyd County commissioners are Republican. The county’s bid to expand the board from three to five members did not specify parties; that was changed with this legislation.

For more:

The Elections Board will meet for their next regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at noon in the Community Room, Suite 206, in the County Administration Building at 12 E. Fourth Ave.

HB 9EX, or Floyd County; Board of Elections and Registration; provide for abolition, passed by the same margins and votes.

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