Depoliticizing the State Elections Board

Randy Evans sent out an email last night regarding several actions taken by the State Elections Board. Of note:

I. Tex McIver has been selected as the Vice Chairman of the State Board of Elections. After discussion regarding the conflicts that the Secretary of State has as an announced candidate for Governor, the State Election Board voted to create the position of Vice Chairman, and then separately voted to select Tex McIver as the Vice Chairman. He will assume the chair on issues where the interests of candidate Cox may be involved as a result of her candidacy or a result of other conflicts. One such example identified was Secretary of State Cathy Cox’s public opposition to the Voter ID bill whereas the State Election Board has supported it. The vote was bipartisan with Secretary of State Cathy Cox voting for both the motion and the selection of Tex McIver.

2. All references to Secretary of State Cathy Cox have been ordered removed from all future printings of pamphlets and educational materials relating to Georgia Election Law. After discussion regarding concerns that use of the Secretary of State’s name (and at times picture) constitutes the use of taxpayer dollars to campaign for office, the State Election Board voted to convert all references to Secretary of State Cathy Cox to the State Election Board without reference to any individual names. This will apply to all future printings, including those to be printed in connection with the 2006 elections. The vote was bipartisan with Secretary of State Cathy Cox voting in favor of the motion.

3. The State Election Board has a new website to provide information relating to elections and election law in Georgia. In the past, this
information has been available exclusively under Secretary of State Cox’s website. As a result, voters will be able to access information
and contact members of the State Election Board. The website will be expanded to eventually be the source for information concerning
elections and election laws in Georgia.

12 comments

  1. Mouth of the South says:

    Is this an admission by Cox that what she did is wrong? Clearly she thought that voting for this measure was the correct move politically, but I am not so sure it is. I think she should have abstained. That would have brought with it another problem, because this move by the board would look more like a condemnation than an admonition, but I think it could be painted that way anyway. “Cathy Cox used taxpayer money to produce and air campaign ads, a prsctice she knew was wrong, so wrong that she voted in favor of a rule against it.” That kind of stuff.

  2. Mouth of the South says:

    Yes. She voted to make a practice that her office was conducting (that of using her face and name in connection with the materials used to educate Georgia) illegal. I think that was a mistake. She could have abstained.

  3. Melb says:

    Cathy Cox was not using tax payer money, it was money won in a law suit that had to be used specifically against fraud in GA. So this is in no way a contradiction. She is against using tax money to fund an election contrary to Perdue who was willing to have tax payers pay for an entire special session as a personal press release even though he knew that the tax cut would take effect without it.

  4. Porter Bates says:

    Melb, get a grip. Your friends in the Taylor camp certainly know that she used these funds to raise her name id in the state. While shrewd, it ought to be illegal. That money belonged to the people of Georgia, not Cathy Cox’s personal ambition fund.

    The cost of the special session, $150,000, or so, was well worth it in order to give Georgians a 75 million tax break. I would keep them up there more often if they found more ways to do that.

  5. albert says:

    I believe all statewide elections should be partisan. Party affiliation, in most races, is a telling sign of what philosophy of government one embraces. Traditionally, the Republican Party has been more conservative and pro-business.

    The SOS race is probably the most important, outside of the Governor’s race. Currently, the SOS office is not business friendly nor efficient.

  6. My rationale behind wanting to see the Secretary of State’s office becoming a nonpartisan office stems from what Democrats complained about in the 2000 & 2004 Presidential Elections.

    The Democrats said that the Republican Secretaries of State in both Florida (2000) and Ohio (2004) could not be trusted because they were Republican and they had both endorsed George W. Bush for President.

    When it comes to elections, our elections officials should be fair, impartial, and free from partisan wrangling & bickering.

    I’m a certified Chief Poll Manager for Fulton County Elections and once I take that oath and open up the polls on Election Day, I put my personal political affiliations and preferences aside because frankly my job that day, from 7AM to 7PM, is to ensure that everyone, be they Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, or Independents, has a chance to express their preference on who their elected officials should be without pressure or intimidation from outside political forces.

    I’ll even take it one step further, in addition to making the Secretary of State’s office non-partisan, we should require that the Secretary of State sign an affadavit that states that he/she will refrain from endorsing any candidate for elective office.

    That way the state’s chief elections official maintains his/her impartiality and voter confidence is increased.

  7. Tater Tate says:

    Glad to see today from an AJC article that Jimmy Carter and James Baker are supporting a paper trail for ballots. They also support a voter id. Carter is bucking a trend as most Ds have rejected Gerogia’s new id requirement.

  8. Melb says:

    Porter Bates,
    The 75 million tax break would have gone through without the special session and I wouldn’t want to waste 150,000. That may be pocket change, but not me. And I never said that Cox couldn’t have used the money better, all I said is that she didn’t use tax payer money. There is a difference.

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