The Bibb County Board of Elections has set September 17 as the day for a nonpartisan special election for the new consolidated Macon-Bibb County government.
The Bibb County Board of Elections voted 3-1 Thursday.
Elections for city-county mayor and commission were supposed to happen in July, but we’re delayed as federal authorities investigated a change from partisan to nonpartisan elections that Bibb County Democrats vehemently oppose.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court effectively relieved Washington of its authority over local elections in Georgia. The only questions remaining was would Macon-Bibb vote in September or November. Board of elections vice-chair Steve Allen says they went with September 17th so that a government can be in place with time to spare before consolidation takes effect January 1st. “This does leave a little bit more time for transition. Many people are anticipating that we’ll have a run off which always takes place one month after the election. A November election would mean a December runoff which means that the transition would be taking place during the holidays.”
Allen says the new date does reopen qualifying to additional candidates. Qualifying will take place August 5th through 7th.
Thursday morning the Bibb County Commission voted 3-2 to request the Board of Elections hold a nonpartisan special election November 5th.
Meanwhile a lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court that seeks the immediate scheduling of the election for leaders of the new consolidated government for Macon and Bibb County.
District 4 Commissioner candidate Mallory Jones is suing the Bibb County Board of Elections and Board of Commissioners. Jones is asking to have the elections happen as soon as July 16.
Jones' attorney Lee Parks says if the elections can't take place then, state law says the Macon-Bibb elections should take place at the "earliest possible lawful date" that would not require candidates to qualify again.
Parks says the next date set by the state would be September 17.
Contributors: Adam Ragusea