A familiar face to elections officials has replaced a longtime board member who bowed out last month.
Former Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin participated Thursday in his first Bibb County Elections Board meeting as an official member. The retired educator takes over the seat held by Ronnie Miley, who stepped down as one of the Democrat representatives after having served on the board since 2005.
At Thursday’s meeting, the board also unanimously nominated Mike Kaplan to continue serving in the at-large position of the five-person board. That position at times has a special importance as the tie breaker if votes fall along political lines.
Ficklin is well-known to elections officials after having been embroiled in recent years in several battles regarding elections. He said Thursday he was appreciative of the opportunity to serve in such an important position.
Ficklin was sworn in March 28 and Thursday’s meeting was the first official regular meeting since then.
“Elections are the most important function in our society because they determine what the rest of government is going to do,” Ficklin said during a break in the meeting. “I’ve had situations where things weren’t done right and it caused things to happen that shouldn’t have happened. I’m glad to be here and I’m going to be focused on making sure everything is done right.”
In 2013, Ficklin won a lawsuit against the elections board that forced a second runoff in a Macon-Bibb County Commission race after his name was left off some ballots.
Ficklin also fought against a 2015 proposal to cut the number of Bibb County polling stations from 40 to 26.And in October 2015, Ficklin challenged the Macon-Bibb County attorney’s interpretation of state law regarding whether a special election should have been held for tax commissioners.
The Bibb elections board is made up of two Republican and two Democrat members selected by the local parties, and the independent member. Kaplan’s re-appointment will be formally adopted at a County Commission meeting.