Created: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 05:56:00 EST
Updated: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:51:15 EST
The Bibb County Board of Elections on Thursday set Tuesday, Sept. 17 as the date for election of commissioners and mayor for the newly consolidated city-county government.
The decision by the board goes against the recommendation made earlier in the day by the Bibb County Commission, which had approved Nov. 5 as the date.
The county commission's decision was only advisory and the board of election's decision sets the date.
The decision should also settle a lawsuit filed by commission candidate Mallory Jones. He had asked federal court to intervene and order the election be held on July 17 or the earliest possible date thereafter.
The Georgia Legislature set the date for the election as July 17, but the U.S. Department of Justice failed to give its approval of the election in a timely manner to allow that date to be met.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Voting Rights Act that gave the DOJ responsibility to review all changes to voting laws in certain states.
With that law no longer in place, local officials moved to reschedule the election.
"It would be very difficult for the county and Mr. Adams to go into court and explain to a federal judge why we skipped over September 17th and went to November 5th." -Gary Bechtel/Bibb County Commissioner
"Another factor is this does leave a little bit more time for transition. Many people are anticipating that we are going to have a runoff, which always takes place one month after the election. A November election would mean a December runoff which would mean that the transition would be taking place during a holiday period." -Steve Allen/Board of Elections Vice Chairman