October 12, 2021–8:06 p.m.
The Floyd County Commission has endorsed a recommendation from the board of elections to have an independent third-party review of the board of elections and elections office.
Winston Denmark, an attorney for the elections board said the peer review would be conducted by elections officials from neighboring counties.
They would review Floyd County’s election procedures and point out what mistakes have been made.
“As long as boards of elections and elections staff are populated by human beings, mistakes are going to happen,” he said. “However, the issue is, have we operated in good faith? Because if you are operating in good faith, that is the key to understanding whether we can rehabilitate the process or if we have some dire problems.”
He explained why this type of review is preferable to other options included in Senate Bill 202, also known as the Georgia Election Integrity Act.
“The State Board of Elections can also conduct their own investigation and audit into these matters,” Denmark added. “That is always before us. So, the issue is….Is that the direction we want to go? Because, as we all know, at the end of that process the state could take over the elections in Floyd County and wrestle local control from this community.”
The commission also endorsed the proposal to change the makeup of the elections board from three members to five.
That change would have to be approved by state legislators.
Commissioner Scotty Hancock said during the meeting, there have already been steps taking to improve the local elections office and efforts will continue to restore public trust in the elections process.
Photo: Floyd County Board of Elections Chair Dr. Melanie Conrad speaks during Tuesday’s Floyd County Commission meeting