CONYERS — Rockdale County Chief Superior Court Judge David B. Irwin will have the final decision in who the Board of Elections at-large member and chair will be after the two partisan members of the Board of Elections could not agree on a nomination.

The Board of Elections is made up of representatives from the local Democrat and Republican parties and an at-large member who is chosen by the representatives. The at-large member also serves as the chair of the board. For the past two years, the Rev. Aldren Sadler Sr. has been the at-large member and chair, but his term ends June 30.

When it came time to appoint the at-large member for the term from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021, Sadler recused himself from the discussion. Chair Pro Tem Karen James then made a motion to retain Sadler as the at-large member for the new term. But fellow board member Gerald Barger would not second the motion and it died.

Barger then stated he would like to advertise the position and open it to the public to see who is interested. His motion to do so also died as James would not second it.

Elections Supervisor Cynthia Willingham advised the board that if they did not select the at-large member, then in 30 days, Judge Irwin would make the decision. She added that each of the two board members could make two nominations to the judge, and he could either accept one of the nominations or select someone else.

Barger stated he has nothing against Sadler, but said he felt the process should be open to the public.

James stated that even if they open the nominations up, each party can make only two nominations.

Willingham suggested that they could open the position up for anyone to apply, then have the board members interview the applicants, and if they weren’t satisfied or could not agree, then they could turn the decision over to the judge.

The elections supervisor noted that the last time the board couldn’t decide on the at-large member, the nomination process went to the judge, and he opened the process for applications from the public.

James and Barger still could not agree, so in 30 days Judge Irwin will make the final decision.

When Sadler returned for the rest of the meeting, he noted humorously that he now knows how it feels to run for president of the United States. He thanked the board for the opportunity to serve.

After the meeting, Barger said he is still interested in taking applications from the public for the two nominations he will make to Judge Irwin. He asked that anyone interested in the position leave their information at the Board of Elections Office, and the staff will pass it on to him.

To apply for the position, go by the office located at 1261 Commercial Drive SW, Suite B (on the bottom floor at the back of the building), or call 770-278-7333. Applicants must be registered to vote in Rockdale County.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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