Attorney General asked to investigate Spalding County Board of Elections

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Representatives David Knight and Karen Mathiak, members of the Spalding County legislative delegation who represent Districts 130 and 73 respectively, have formally requested Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr conduct an investigation of the Spalding County Board of Elections (BoE).

In a letter submitted to Carr on Dec. 10, Knight and Mathiak cite the failure to conduct BoE meetings in accordance with the Georgia Open Meetings law as well as the BoE’s own bylaws.

“To restore and protect the faith in our democracy, the gross mismanagement of the elections process in Spalding County, as well as Georgia’s election process as a whole, must be held to account,” said Rep. Knight. “Multiple investigations are underway that have highlighted process flaws and rule violations in Spalding County, and we must also address the inconsistent statements provided by the Spalding County election supervisor and chairman of the Spalding County BOE. These events have undoubtedly compromised the integrity of our elections process and the public’s faith in our elections officials.”

According to their letter seeking the formal investigation, Knight and Mathiak claim multiple violations including legal requirements pertaining to the scheduling and public notice of meetings, agenda creation and posting requirements, summaries and minutes of meetings requirements and executive session requirements.

Knight and Mathiak allege the Spalding County Board of Elections website indicate numerous and repeated failures that “points to a systematic violation of the legal requirements for open meetings.”

The representatives also stated, “Further, the public’s right to observe the process by which local officials make decisions that affect their communities and lives has been entirely disregarded. This violation of legal, governmental, and societal norms is troubling to us and many of our constituents. We are prepared to assist in any way possible, and we look forward to seeing the results of this investigation.”

“The failure to properly conduct these meetings is simply illegal,” said Rep. Mathiak. “This violation of legal, governmental and societal norms is troubling to us and many of our constituents. We are prepared to assist in any way possible, and we look forward to seeing the results of an investigation conducted by the attorney general’s office.”

Knight and Mathiak, along with Sen. Marty Harbin and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, previously requested the resignation of Spalding County Election Supervisor Marcia Ridley.

The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews on Tuesday filed a formal complaint with the Georgia Attorney Generals Office alleging violations of the Georgia Open Meetings Law had occurred during the Dec. 8 Board of Elections meeting. An article detailing those alleged violations will be forthcoming.

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