Editorial

We should keep the influence of political parties out of the Floyd County Elections Board.

Allowing political parties to influence the elections rules destroys the very process. Look at Congress, they’re gridlocked along partisan lines and we’re all the worse off for it.

While the appointed members of the board will invariably have opinions of their own, they shouldn’t be beholden to any political party. Decisions made by that board should always be made without consideration to political affiliation.

No decision by a board concerning elections should have a hint of partisanship, that’s like letting teams referee a football game — regardless of the fairness of the call there’s always going to be doubt.

Legislation that is likely to be filed during a General Assembly special session in November will change the process of appointing elections board members to that enacted by some of our surrounding counties.

Those counties have two Republican Party and two Democratic Party nominated members alongside one member designated by the Grand Jury. That sounds like a Congressional or Supreme Court-style mess with those appointed by parties voting along party lines.

We need less partisanship overall and certainly less when it comes to elections.

We applaud the Floyd County Commission’s decision to expand the three-member board to a five-member board. We also support the idea of a regionally-based peer review or a state performance review.

Sometimes it takes an outside view of a process to improve it. However, we understand the hesitancy by the County Commission to bring the state in — whatever the Secretary of State’s office bills, the county has to pay.

As to some of the mistakes made by the elections board, they’re just errors.

The tome that is SB 202 is extensive and complicated ... and it’s brand new. All the volunteers who serve on that board are learning the ins and outs of the new Georgia voting law.

Whenever an entirely new legislation becomes law, there is always a period of learning and adjustment.

We’re in that learning period. The primary difference is a laser focus on the election process with all of the municipal elections contested. That’s a plus for civic engagement! A more informed electorate that participates in the process is good for our city, county and country.

We hope that those who have taken notice of the process continue to learn more and remain engaged.

Speaking of engagements, it doesn’t look like the political battleground that is Georgia will fade any time soon. If political parties have their way, that anger stoked to get people riled up for the 2022 elections will continue.

But, regardless of the opinions espoused by our Congressional representative this week, we don’t need a “national divorce.”

Marriage takes understanding, empathy and A LOT of hard work. It’s a partnership and isn’t one-sided. Sometimes you don’t like each other, but you know that deep down there’s a lot of love and commonality and separation is going to hurt everyone involved.

We need representatives who have the emotional intelligence to work together for their constituents.

Want a recent example? Talk to former 14th District Rep. Tom Graves. He walked into Congress as a firebrand and after several years in office figured out that division is the worst thing for our United States of America.

Thank you for reading and get vaccinated. Let’s end this pandemic together.

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