This letter is written to bring to light a form of voter supression that was about to occur right here in Floyd County.
At the Aug. 18 election board meeting I asked Chief Clerk Robert Brady what was his plan for mailing out absentee ballots for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election. Chief Brady answered his plan was to mail the ballots out on Oct. 12. This was just 27 days before Election Day. I then asked why was he not going to mail them out on Sept. 15, the first day that the law says they could be mailed. His response to me was very hostile and totally disrepectful.
I then asked what was his reason to wait almost a month after Sept. 15. He then said he would mailed them out whenever they were ready for mailing and asked me had I read the ballot. Board members Melanie Conrad and John Scott Husser then asked Mr Brady if he could have the ballots mailed out before Oct. 12. He responded to them that he would mail them out as soon as they were ready. They both concurred with his answer.
At no time did the election chief or the election board refer to what the Georgia law says about the mailing of absentee ballots. Because of their lack of knowledge of the Georgia law, voter suppression had been OK’d to happen.
Georgia law states “the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall mail or issue official absentee ballots to all eligible applicants not more than 49 days but not less than 45 days prior to any general election.” O.C.G.A. 21-2-384 (a)(2). This means they have to be mailed out by Sept. 19, which is 23 days prior to Chief Brady’s plan.
Our election office, to make it simple, is in a mess. Too much disrespect to the public and the lack of knowledge of the elections and voting laws by our chief clerk and board have become unbelievable. Our County Commission, who appoints our election board who hires our chief election clerk, says their hands are tied by a Georgia election board charter. Let’s hope this is not a “new normal.”