Some Franklin Co. Municipal Leaders Voicing Concerns Over Voting Precinct Consolidation

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Some municipal leaders in Franklin County are voicing objections to the Franklin County Board of Elections’ decision to consolidate voting precincts.

Last week, Royston Mayor David Jordan said he had asked the city attorney to research whether the Franklin County Board of Elections can legally consolidate precincts without first giving the public a chance to comment.

Jordan said he believes the decision by the election board should have been presented to the voters in a public hearing before any decision was made.

He added that he was never notified prior to the Franklin County Board of Elections’ March meeting of its intent to consolidate precincts.

Meanwhile, Canon Mayor Ray Morgan is also not happy with the decision, telling the Franklin County Citizen newspaper last week that he was never contacted by the election board about its decision.

The Canon mayor has asked his citizens to stop by the Elections and Registrations Office in Carnesville to voice their concerns, according to the paper.

At the Franklin County Commission’s work session last month, Elections Superintendent Tess Eubanks outlined the election board’s plan to consolidate the county’s precincts from 13 to four based on Franklin County’s commission districts.

Currently, the Franklin County Board of Elections is holding a 30-day comment period where voters are invited to call or stop by the Elections and Registrations Office to voice opinions or ask questions.

After the 30-day comment period, a public hearing will take place at the Elections and Registrations Office.

A date for the public hearing has not yet been set.

Eubanks said the election board’s decision is in line with state law and is being done to help save Franklin County money.

According to Eubanks, the 45-day voting cycle is currently costing Franklin County $8,890 in labor per election.

Under the four-district plan, the labor costs to Franklin County per election would drop to $2,740.

Eubanks has also pointed to surrounding counties, including Stephens and Rabun, which have also consolidated the number of their voting precincts.