The Glynn County Board of Elections voted Tuesday to challenge Democratic Glynn County Commission District 4 candidate Vicki Greene’s candidacy qualification, citing the address listed on her qualification documents.
The board will hold a hearing to listen to both sides before making a decision.
Greene’s address is listed on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website as 13 Ibis Cove in western Glynn County, which is in county commission District 1, according to the county’s property records.
At-large candidates can live in any district, but “all other candidates shall offer for election to the board from the commissioner district in which their legal residence lies,” according to the county’s ordinances.
Greene confirmed she did live outside District 4, but declined to comment on the matter.
However, a qualifications and disqualifications guide for county and state offices published by the Secretary of State’s office notes that a candidate for a county commission does have to live in the county for a certain amount of time, but “does not have to reside in the commission district from which he or she seeks election for that period.”
The guide also states that “a county is not authorized to establish more stringent residency requirements for election of county commissioners” than the requirements set by the state.
Both statements are based on opinions given by previous state assistant attorney generals.
County officials said in an email that the county’s district residence requirement doesn’t conflict with state law.
“For a commissioner to qualify in Glynn County, they must live within the district they are qualifying for on the day of qualifying. This doesn’t conflict with the state mandate. For any residential conflicts after election, that would that would fall to the board of elections to rectify,” according to county officials.
The Glynn County Democrats maintain Greene is qualified based on its own research and the research of a Democratic Party of Georgia attorney.
“I know we did our research, we asked DPG attorney Michael Jablonski, and he did his research, and he said a candidate for a district on the county commission does not have to live in that district, and I will stand on that,” said Glynn County Democrats Chairwoman Audrey Gibbons. “Even our response was ‘who knew?’”
Glynn County Commission Chairman Bill Brunson, who currently holds the District 4 seat, said he was notified about Greene’s residency by one of the members of the board of elections. He notified board of elections staff.
“I think we all need to play by the rules,” Brunson said.
Representatives of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia declined to comment.
In other business, the board voted to request the county approve another full-time position on the board’s staff and finalize polling place changes. Two of the relocations will be temporary and two will be permanent changes.
The polling place in Glyndale Elementary School will be permanently moved to Blythe Island Baptist Church, 170 Cut-Off Road. Burroughs-Molette Elementary School will move to Zion Baptist Church, 1611 G St. in Brunswick.
A polling place at St. William Catholic Church on St. Simons Island will temporarily move to Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road, also on the island. The polling place at Abundant Life Fellowship will also be moved temporarily to the Chapel, 114 Harris Farm Road.
Anyone wishing to vote absentee can apply for an absentee ballot now. The application can be found on the board of elections website, glynncounty.org/78/Board-of-Elections, or on the secretary of state’s website, mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Once completed, it can be submitted through the mail, email or fax. The board’s fax number is 888-870-1374, and its email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in being a poll worker should attend a meet and greet scheduled for March 21 and 22. On both days, the event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the board’s second-floor conference room, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick. For more information, call the board of elections at 912-554-7060.
The next meeting of the board of elections is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 10 in the Office Park Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick.