Deadline to apply for DeKalb Elections Board is May 14A sign directs voters to the Oakhurst Baptist Church polling location in Decatur on Jan. 5, 2021. Photo by Dean Hesse.
By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
DeKalb County, GA — The fate of DeKalb County Elections Board is now in the hands of Chief Judge Asha F. Jackson, as the window to apply for an appointment to the board closes at 5 p.m. on May 14. A list of candidates has not been released. By law, Jackson is responsible for choosing the fifth member of the board.
The terms of all five board members expire on June 30. The board consists of two appointments from the Democratic Party and two from the Republican Party, and one nonpartisan board chair. Democrats are expected to reappoint board members Dele Lowman Smith and Susan Motter. Republican Baoky Vu was censured in April, and DeKalb GOP asked him to resign from the board. Anthony Lewis is the remaining Republican.
Board chair Sam Tillman caused friction during his tenure when he criticized fellow board members and DeKalb County commissioners. Tillman was accused of being overly involved in the daily operations at the Voter Registration and Elections office.
In October 2020, DeKalb County Democratic Committee chair John Jackson called for the resignation of Tillman and department head Erica Hamilton, doubting the pair could conduct a smooth election cycle.
DeKalb County Elections board met on May 13 and entered executive session for matters of litigation.
John Manson, senior policy analyst for the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, addressed the board. He said the working group is requesting one Republican and one Democrat from the elections board.
“The goals of the working group are to just ensure that the process is open and fair, and provide any support that they can to the Board of Registrations and Elections. Commissioner Terry did ask at the last working group meeting that two members be appointed quickly, so that the working group can be fully staffed immediately,” said Manson.
“I think if the board is going to be involved and the department is going to be involved, we need to have more specifics on where it is the group wants to go,” said Lewis. “It’s fairly broad to say that they’re looking at how they can support the Board of Voter Registrations and Elections.”
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