Al Sadler.jpg

Rev. Aldren Sadler Sr.

CONYERS — For the second time, Rockdale County Chief Superior Court Judge David B. Irwin has appointed the Rev. Aldren Sadler Sr. as the at-large member and chair of the Rockdale County Board of Elections and Voter Registration. Irwin first appointed Sadler in 2015 after the the partisan members could not agree on reappointing former State Court Judge William Todd.

Judge Irwin said that while some excellent candidates were nominated or applied for the position, he felt there was no need to change what was working well.

“He’s (Sadler) done an excellent job on the board and there have been no issues, so I thought if something is working, don’t change it,” said Irwin. “I had some great applicants, but sometimes things work better if you let them continue to operate.”

The three-member Board of Elections is made up of one representative each from the local Democrat and Republican parties, and one at-large member who is normally chosen by the representatives. The at-large member also serves as the chair of the board and is a two-year appointment.

Sadler was reappointed by the board members in 2017, but his current term ended June 30. When it came time to appoint the at-large member for the term from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021, board members Karen James and Gerald Barger were unable to agree on a nomination. James wanted to reappoint Sadler, but Barger would not second the motion. Barger wanted to seek other nominees from the community, but James would not second his motion.

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. The 30-day period passed and Judge Irwin agreed to open the nomination process for other applicants.

A total of 11 people were nominated or applied for the position. James nominated Sadler again, while Barger nominated Cary Bond and Garvin Haynes. Applicants included Phyllis Morris-Samuels, Brad Smith, Anika Inman, Thomas “Brad” Cox, Larry K. Byrd, Bibi Angola, Allen E. Jones and Darryl E. Bryant.

Board member responsibilities include the oversight of county elections, discussion of and decisions pertaining to election policies and ongoing communication with the public. Board members are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the Elections Office or in administrative decisions. Georgia Election Code 21-2-70 provides for the powers and duties of the Board of Elections and Registration.

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Senior Reporter

I've worked in community newspapers for 30 years, including Editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus from 1993-1999. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016. Started as Senior Reporter at the Jackson Progress-Argus in December 2019.

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