The December Messenger features an article on voting irregularities that occurred at the Epworth Methodist Church polling station during the Nov. 5 municipal election. The article recounts how many Candler Parkers were issued incorrect electronic ballots. According state and Atlanta elections officials, the Candler Park precinct was the only location with ballot problems in the election.
Voters who tried to cast ballots for the candidates they supported discovered the problems less than an hour after the polls opened at 7 AM. Several approached campaign workers who were set up across McLendon Avenue where they had posted signs for their candidates and where school board candidate Leslie Grant’s volunteers were giving out doughnuts and coffee. Marcy Leamy, who lives on McLendon, was one of the first to report the problems to campaign workers and CPNO. I was there, along with CPNO president Ken Edelstein, when Leamy approached Grant’s volunteers and told them about the incorrect ballots. “I have her yard signs,” Leamy said. "We can't vote for the people we want to."
As word of the ballot problems began spreading, campaign workers had to deal with another issue: they had posted signs and set up their table too close to the polling station. Shortly after Leamy told Grant’s volunteers about the incorrect ballots, Epworth’s assistant poll manager removed campaign signs from the McLendon Ave. roadside that he determined were too close to the church. He also told Grant’s volunteers to move their table to a point beyond the legally mandated distance from the church building. Georgia law, like that in other states, restricts campaign activities near polling places. According to Georgia Code, campaign literature (including signs) must be more than 150 feet from “the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established.”
Campaign workers Carolyn Morton and Candace Dixon move their table
away from Epworth on Nov. 5. Photo by David Rotenstein.
Campaign signs along McLendon Ave. on election day.
Photo by David Rotenstein.
For more about the November election, read the December Messenger.