A remarkable thing happened during the primary night elections two weeks ago. Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Gwinnett counties started sending out their election night data while there was still sunlight in the sky. It is an unusual thing. Those counties usually wait until the bitter end. Long after everyone is asleep, those counties begin showing data. First a few precincts come in, then a few more, and round about midnight, their data is completely uploaded to the Internet.
This year, however, these counties with massive populations were online well before Bibb County. Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Wilkinson and more, had returns up online. But anyone who went to the Macon-Bibb Board of Elections website for returns was met with a 0.0 percent for every race.
In fairness, the results were coming in. People at the Board of Elections were getting data. But those looking online were left hanging. Bibb was the anomaly in the state. This seems to happen pretty regularly for Macon-Bibb County. Every election something screws up and every election the Board of Elections is left promising it won’t happen again. Lucky for them that people’s memories are short and two years later the same thing happens all over again.
I presume that at some point our county can force itself into the 20th century. I’m not going ask for the 21st century, but the 20th should do. Now, I don’t mean to continue to pick on the Board of Elections in Bibb County, but I did notice the article in The Telegraph that there were 1,000 write-in names in the primaries stretching over 40 printed pages. A Board of Elections employee was quoted as saying she wished people would take it more seriously.
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My thought was that the people were taking it seriously enough to show up. They just hoped for better candidates and were casting protest votes due to getting tired of choosing between the evils of a bunch of lessers. But of course, write in votes do not count at primary time.
Looking just a few hundred feet north of my house, which could potentially become looking just a few inches north of my house if the line moves, Monroe County seems ready to move on from the continuing and expensive legal battle with Bibb County over property. There was a real shake up on the county commission up there and that is a good thing. The whole county line matter has been handled as a farce and has long smelled of a corrupt process.
I say that as someone who would kill for the line to move a few hundred feet and magically rescue my property from Bibb County. It’d be wonderful to, without ever moving, suddenly be in Monroe County. But the whole survey situation and undisclosed relations bit seemed shady. Monroe County commissions, soon to have the word “former” attached to their names, seemed desperate to force the line change.
There continues to be a practical solution to this. No property owner has paid property taxes to both Monroe and Bibb counties. It seems the easiest solution would be to look at where people have historically paid property taxes and determine that the line follows the money. Instead, Brian Kemp, our secretary of state, is left in a difficult situation while development along the county line stagnates waiting for a fix.
The situation should not be that difficult to solve, but this is government. We are still trying to get election returns online years after the system went in place. The border might take even longer.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.