Through her attorney, J. Matthew Maguire, Jr., Norwood has asked for a ruling from the Board of Registration and Elections on approval of her candidacy by the end of the day July 8.
Edmonds had written to Norwood, “ If you feel you filed a proper and timely notice of candidacy, you are invited to provide whatever information you would like the board to consider as a basis for a statutory extension for your being deemed to have properly qualified as a candidate despite your lat filing.”
She had until the end of the day July 7 to respond.
The board consists of two representatives of the Democratic Party, two of the Republican Party and one selected by the chair of the Fulton County Commission. Edmonds is the board member appointed by Fulton Commission Chair John Eaves, who Norwood is seeking to unseat in the November election.
In responding to Edmond’s letter, Norwood and her attorney claim there is precedent for allowing candidacy, even though the filing was more than four hours late.
Citing a 1990 South Carolina court decision, Maguire wrote: “The purpose of the notice of the notice of candidacy requirement is to allow for the efficient administration of elections. Acceptance of a petition filed four hours late does not infringe upon the efficient administration of elections. In fact, courts have frequently ignored or even struck down qualifying deadlines in similar cases.” Maguire cited the Texas case involving Barr, Obama and Cain as one of those.
At this point, Norwood is embroiled in two fights for her candidacy: winning the board’s approval of her Notice of Candidacy and obtaining 22,700 signatures of qualified Fulton County voters by July 12 in order to qualify her under Georgia law to run as an independent candidate.
Eaves’ election committee earlier challenged signatures gathered during the past three months by the Norwood campaign because the petitions had the word “Fulton” preprinted on them as part of the addresses. The questionable signatures were 2,000 to 3,000 of the total collected.
“We are on track to have the 22,700 signatures,” Norwood said on July 7. She said the national firm she hired to help gather those signatures—at a reported cost of $50,000—“has dozens of people on the streets with petitions.”
If her candidacy is approved by the elections board, she still will have to have 22,700 signatures certified as legitimate by the same board in order for her name to be on the ballot Nov. 2.
“Georgia has the most restrictive registration laws in the country” as applied to political candidates trying to run as independents, Norwood said. “We are simply trying to ensure that the voters have their right to a choice of candidates,” she said.