Board of Elections to hold special called meeting to discuss Election Supervisor Ridley

Video credit Sheila Mathews/The GRIP

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The Spalding County Board of Elections has announced it will hold a special called meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15.

According to its agenda, the meeting has been called for the purpose of discussing the “Spalding County Legislative delegation and Secretary of State Request for Resignation of Elections Supervisor,” which was also the basis of its previous Dec. 8 special called meeting.

The Dec. 8 special called meeting resulted in the filing of at least one formal complaint with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.

Immediately following the Dec. 8 meeting, The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews filed one such complaint alleging violations of Georgia’s Sunshine Laws related to open meetings. That original complaint was later revised to include multiple allegations of impropriety.

While Mathews contends the votes taken in the BoE executive session are non-binding because votes were not repeated publicly in open session, the executive session itself appears to violate Open Meetings legal requirements.

To legally enter executive session, a majority of the board must vote to approve such a motion.

Prior to the Dec. 8 BoE executive session, there was no vote.

A motion to enter executive session was made and seconded but a subsequent vote was disrupted by BoE member Vera McIntosh, who was concerned with Mathews documentation of the meeting.

As Chairman Margaret Bentley was addressing the motion, McIntosh interrupted, pointed at Mathews and asked, “Excuse me. Are you taking pictures?”
Mathews responded, “I’m recording.”
McIntosh asked, “Why?”
Mathews began to respond but was interrupted by Spalding County Election Supervisor Marcia Ridley, who said, “She (McIntosh) doesn’t want to be recorded.”
Mathews then replied, “That’s unfortunate. The law allows me to record the meeting.”
At that time, with no vote taken, Ridley addressed the room, stating, “Okay, so, we’re in executive session, so I will ask everyone to go ahead and leave.”

The Board of Elections then entered executive session having never taken the legally mandated vote to do so.

Video of this portion of the meeting can be viewed above.

You may also review Georgia Open Meetings law here: https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2019/title-50/chapter-14/section-50-14-1/

In addition to Mathews’ complaint to the Attorney General’s Office, members of the Spalding County legislative delegation, Representatives David Knight and Karen Mathiak later formally requested Attorney General Chris Carr investigate the BoE regarding other alleged long-term violations of the Open Meetings law.

The GRIP will report live from the Tuesday, Dec. 15 Board of Elections meeting.

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Comments

  1. Terri Statham Hurt says:

    Voter Fraud in Griffin, Ga! Called 4 times & each time someone will call you back! Not so! Saying I haven’t voted in 2029! I voted at my Precinct in June & November!

  2. You break the law, you do your time. And it is not a racial decision voiced by Urban Outreach! They need to stay out of it!!

  3. Steven Wayne Stroup says:

    I try to know all the rules when it come to elections but I guess that I am not as knowable as thought. Please correct me if I am wrong in my opinion. The only thing that is secret is how each voter votes. The counting and way the election is ran should be pubic. Any irregularities should addressed openly. When they have sessions behind closed doors on any issues it should make every honest voter suspicious about if the election is what the voters want.

  4. She needs to be prosecuted.

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