BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County Board of Elections and Registration (BOEAR) continues to prepare for the upcoming elections in 2018.
With candidates, such as Glenn Patterson for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner and Margaret Williamson for Georgia House of Representatives District 7, already announcing their intentions to run in the scheduled May primaries, the BOEAR has much to prepare for this year.
The BOEAR will see new faces on their board as well this year. The board, composed of two appointed Democrats, two appointed Republicans and a fifth member decided by the appointed members, will all be up for reappointment this year having served their two-year terms.
One member that will not be seeking reappointment is John Baird. Baird having served on the board for two years will be leaving Fannin County in the near future. This will leave the Democratic seat held by Baird open for a new Democratic appointment to fill.
Members of the Board of Elections and Registration are nominated by their parties respectively, and then voted on within that party to fill the board.
Board members are preparing to attend the Georgia Election Officials Association (GEOA) and the Voter Registrars Association of Georgia (VRAG) joint conference held March 25 to 28 in Athens, Georgia.
Attendance to this conference in mandatory for two members of the board and will keep Fannin County in compliance with Georgia state law regarding elections.
BOEAR Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner explained the need for the mandatory attendance saying, “We (BOEAR) have to have 12 hours of training each year on voter registration and the elections, and it certifies us to hold that election.”
“We usually go to two a year,” BOEAR Chairman Sonia Smith clarified. “This one will be combined.”
Conner added, “Because of all of the elections, this is the only way they (GEOA/VRAG) can do it during an election year.”
The BOEAR also announced the proposed qualifying fees for county positions. These fees were later passed by the Board of Commissioners.
A fee of $349 is required to run for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, and $144 is required to run for a seat with the Board of Education. The qualifying period for these positions begins March 5 at 9 a.m. and will close on March 9 at noon.
A General Primary Election for both Republicans and Democrats will take place on May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the Primary Election is April 23.
Winners of the primaries will face off in the General Election to be held on Nov. 6, 2018.
Another position that will be seen on the ballot in November is that of the Blue Ridge Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District.
The Blue Ridge Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District is represented by two district supervisors. One of the supervisors is appointed to a two-year term while the other is elected to the position and serves a four-year term.
Currently, Fannin County is only represented by one district supervisor, Damon Davenport. Richard Stanley, the elected official, passed away in late September of 2017. The seat of the late Richard Stanley will be open to candidates in the 2018 election.
To fill the vacant seat within the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District, one must petition the state of Georgia and meet certain requirements to be put on the ballot.
Conner pointed out a change in requirements for this position, “They have upped the petition from 20 names to 25 names.” Names on this petition must be from registered voters and can be filed with the Fannin County Board of Registration and Elections.
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