Reichert releases downsized annexation map

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert this afternoon released the latest version of his downsized annexation map.

Exact measurements of how much property or how many people would be affected by the latest revision are not yet clear, but officials estimate it encompasses nearly 9,000 people living on about seven square miles of land.

Significant chunks were cut out of the south and east sides of Reichert's prior proposal.

The mayor had initially targeted 13,300 people and 30 square miles of land when he first began pushing annexation. That was cut down once earlier this month to 17.5 square miles and 11,730 people.

A copy of the new map was delivered to the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections earlier today. Officials there must use it to compile a list of eligible voters for the planned July 15 public referendum on annexation. Only those who live in the unincorporated county and would be brought into the city by its expansion are allowed to vote.

Election officials must have that list done by Friday, so that it can be turned over Monday to Kennesaw State University to be made ready for state officials, said elections superintendent Elaine Carr.

It will mean going street by street to figure out who can vote and who can't, said Carr, whose office had nearly finished its list of voters based on the last map when the new one arrived. A mistake could jeopardize the entire election, she said, if someone challenged it after the fact.

"We're holding our breath," she said. "We're going to do everything we can to make sure the election can be held without any glitches."