Should BER be elected?
To the Editor:
The Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration estimates that they could manage a Special Purpose Local Option Educational Sales Tax (ELOST) election for the Morgan County Board of Education for approximately $14,500. I noted the board was set up under Georgia House Bill 1494. That bill states that the Board will comprise of five members, two each appointed from those parties that gained the first and second place in the county for the election for Governor in the general election preceding the appointment, and one member appointed by the Board of Commissioners. However, if you were one of the 223 voters for the candidate for Governor that finished third, then you have no party representation on the BER.
The current Board consists of two Democrats, two Republicans and an individual selected by the Board of Commissioners. An appointed Board of Elections strikes me as being deeply ironic. Why not have the board elected by the voters of Morgan County, rather than appointed by political parties and the BOC? Why is a board that runs elections not elected? I would like to see all citizens that voted for a candidate for Governor have representation, rather than rely on appointees. This brings me to another point. How truly democratic are the two political parties on the board? Does each party elect its officers, with each party member voting for each position, or are they appointed? Do party officers have term limits, or can they stay in their positions indefinitely if they wish? Is an appointee to the BER directly elected by registered party members? If not, why not? Under HB 1494, an appointee is able to serve indefinitely, but yet the Governor of Georgia has a two-term limit! An appointee, having a longer length of service than an elected official is a perfect example of ignoring the will of the people.
I would be very interested to hear from the Democratic and Republican Party chairpersons as to whether they view appointments or elected representatives as an example of Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.