ATLANTA, GA - The House of Representatives voted Friday 24, 2012, to change the date of elections in Augusta. The measure by Rep. Barbara Sims, R-Augusta, shifts the election date for consolidated cities and counties from November to July. She argued that legislation last year that changed the election date for judicial elections was intended to include Augusta as well.
House Bill 776
By: Representatives Sims of the 119th, Harbin of the 118th, Maxwell of the 17th, and Ramsey of the 72nd
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT
To amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to primaries and elections, so as to provide that nonpartisan elections for members of consolidated governments shall be considered county elections and not municipal elections; to provide for legislative intent; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to primaries and elections, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-139, relating to the authorization and conduct of nonpartisan elections, as follows:
"(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, the General Assembly may provide by local Act for the election in nonpartisan elections of candidates to fill county judicial offices, offices of local school boards, and offices of consolidated governments which are filled by the vote of the electors of said county or political subdivision. Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, the procedures to be employed in such nonpartisan elections shall conform as nearly as practicable to the procedures governing nonpartisan elections as provided in this chapter.
Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, the election procedures established by any existing local law which provides for the nonpartisan election of candidates to fill county offices shall conform to the general procedures governing nonpartisan elections as provided in this chapter, and such nonpartisan elections shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter, notwithstanding the provisions of any existing local law.
For those offices for which the General Assembly, pursuant to this Code section, provided by local Act for election in nonpartisan primaries and elections, such offices shall no longer require nonpartisan primaries. Such officers shall be elected in nonpartisan elections held and conducted in conjunction with the general primary in even-numbered years in accordance with this chapter without a prior nonpartisan primary. This Code section shall apply to all nonpartisan elections for members of consolidated governments. All nonpartisan elections for members of consolidated governments shall be governed by the provisions of this Code section and shall be considered county elections and not municipal elections for the purposes of this Code section. Nonpartisan elections for municipal offices shall be conducted on the dates provided in the municipal charter."
This Act is not intended by the General Assembly to create any new provision of law but only to clarify the intent of the General Assembly in passing the original legislation.
This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
For many in Augusta, even conservatives observers, the move by the republicans legislators is part of the power grabbing mode of the Republican Party in Georgia.
They expect having a super majority of elected officials if the elections take place in July, since minority voters will show up in masses in the November elections, leaving July only for the republicans voters, mostly old, white men.