COMMISSIONER CARDEN ISSUES STATEMENT ON RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LEGISLATION TO RECONSTITUTE GWINNETT BOARD OF REGISTRATION & ELECTIONS
“It’s no secret that the current setup and structure of the Board of Elections and the process through which board members are chosen lack transparency and accountability. Continuing to mandate that two political parties select the members of the Board of Elections makes no sense and is unfair to the public. These are private groups not subject to the same standards of accessibility and transparency as other public entities, such as the Open Meetings Act, handpicking their own favorites to serve on a public board.
This is where many of the other issues come from – there is a reason someone who is so anti-voting that they advocated for an end to all early voting is on the current board. It is my fear that as one political party continues down the road to extremism, all their nominations for appointees will be unacceptable and unqualified for the Board of Commissioners to choose from. Any new proposal from our colleagues in Atlanta must solve this issue for it to earn my support.
No other board’s members are selected in the type of heavy-handed, mandated, closed process. In fact, one key reform I’m extremely proud of is that our other boards have an online application that is open to the public. It should not be controversial to say that election administration is best carried out by professional and qualified individuals, regardless of their partisanship. I will not support any legislation that continues to prioritize elbow rubbing with political power brokers over actual qualifications, and unfortunately this resolution could be used to support such legislation.”