Fed up with Fulton County’s prices, Sandy Springs considered holding its own municipal elections.
City Attorney Wendell Willard discussed the idea with the City Council on June 2. Instead of paying $400,000 to the county, the city could hire a private vendor, Premier Election Solutions, and cut the cost by 42 percent.
But the idea was short-lived. At the June 16 council meeting, Willard suggested the city wait until the next election cycle.
“The difficulty we saw was the time frame we are working with,” he said.
The deadline for such a switch is Aug. 1. That’s too soon, Willard said, to obtain approval from the U.S. Justice Department, which must endorse all election changes for jurisdictions in Georgia under the Voting Rights Act.
“I think we had a brilliant idea six months too late,” Dist. 3 Councilman Rusty Paul said.
City officials vowed to carefully watch this fall’s elections. That way, they can “write our own book,” Willard said, to use when conducting elections on their own.
The city would administer the election, hire poll managers and workers for 36 poll sites, and conduct absentee and early voting procedures. Premier Election Solutions could train employees and provide the equipment.
— Amy Wenk