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Qualifying dates set for March special election in Athens

Candidate qualifying dates are set for the special election that will be held in March: Athens political hopefuls can sign up between December 19 and December 21 for the March 23 election that will fill the seat vacated by former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker.

The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections set the date for the election earlier this week, determining that voters in the new District 2—the one that becomes effective after the first of the year—will decide who serves out the remainder of Parker’s unexpired term, and only candidates who live in that district can qualify for the election.

Parker’s seat, as currently configured, will remain unfilled through the end of the year. People in the current District 2 are being told they can contact Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz or other members of the Commission for constituent services.

From the Athens-Clarke Co government website…

On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections voted 3-2 in favor of a Special Election to be held on March 21, 2023, to fill the vacant seat of Commission District 2.

The vacancy is due to the resignation of former Commissioner Mariah Parker that was formally accepted by Governor Kemp and effective as of September 8, 2022.  Residents who live in Commission District 2 and are in need of services from a Commissioner can contact Mayor Kelly Girtz’s office at 706-613-3010 or mayorsoffice@accgov.com for assistance until a new District 2 Commissioner is elected in March 2023.

Residents who will be eligible to vote in the Special Election and candidates eligible to qualify for the vacant seat are those who will be located within the Commission District 2 boundary that takes effect on January 1, 2023, as part of the redistricting of Athens-Clarke County’s election maps.

Residents can check their districts through a search tool that displays current and future districts based on a resident’s address or by viewing detailed maps of the Commission districts that take effect on January 1, 2023, at www.accgov.com/redistricting. These resources are also linked on the Elections Office webpage at www.accgov.com/elections.

Candidate qualifying will begin on Monday, December 19, 2022, at 9:00 AM and will end on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at noon.

The Athens-Clarke County Charter requires a special election to be held if a Commission vacancy will continue for more than 180 days. The current term of the vacated Commission District 2 runs until January 2025, which is more than 180 days. Accordingly, the Mayor and Commission adopted a resolution on September 15, 2022 requesting that the Board of Elections issue the call for a special election to be held on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, for the purpose of filling the Commissioner District 2 vacancy.

A full copy of the Board of Elections’ call for a Special Election is available online.

After the Special Election in March 2023, the next election for Commission District 2 is scheduled to take place in 2024 along with elections for all other even-numbered districts.

Voting District Search Tool & Redistricting Maps

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens.

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