The recent controversy surrounding weekend voting raises a number of questions as to what went wrong and why. I think a lot of things went wrong and should be addressed. Who is the chief election clerk accountable to? Why did the chief election clerk make the erroneous statement without proof? Who is the Floyd County Election Board accountable to? My understanding is that the election board was established through state legislation as a separate entity away from county government. The election office has no county commissioner that oversees them. If this is so, then who is in charge of the Floyd County Election Board? Where is the leadership? Here is why I ask:
Before the Tuesday monthly election board meeting it was announced that the City of Rome would indeed have weekend voting. That was it. More than 40 people had showed up to voice their complaint because the chief election clerk had announced there would be no weekend voting. We got no apology from anyone, especially the chief election clerk who had adamantly expressed to the press and others that it was too late to make any changes after dates had been announced, and that he did not know if it was a “requirement” for such election. My thought here is that he should have been thinking about how “beneficial” it would be. He never said where he got his information. He never mentioned if the county attorney had his back. The Rome city attorney proved him wrong. There should have been a sincere apology. To me, a good leader or chairman of the board should have done so. Now, the chief election clerk and election board members have to eat crow because of what seems to be a lack of leadership.
I don’t see this issue as a “miscommunication,” I see it as “no communication.” Guidelines are needed here. This issue could have easily made national news. Our county could have been viewed as another Georgia county where they have voting issues.
Over the past five-plus years our county and city has been very progressive in a number of ways, elections to mention one, and I hope we continue to do so. However, we must continue to be “pro -active” instead of being “ re-active.”
Larry G. Morrow Sr.