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Council changes date for election

POSTED: July 4, 2012 4:00 a.m.

The Dawsonville City Council voted unanimously on Monday to change the date for the special election to fill the unexpired terms of two council posts.

The special election has been moved from Sept. 18 to Nov. 6.

Candidates wishing to seek one of the two seats must qualify between Aug. 28-30.

The special election is required following the resignations of James Grogan and Calvin Byrd, both of whom resigned to run for mayor following the death of Joe Lane Cox.

Grogan currently serves as acting mayor.

The two vacant council positions have been temporarily filled by Caleb Phillips and Angie Smith.

The changing of the dates meant Phillips and Smith, neither of whom intends to seek a seat full time, must serve for an additional two months.

According to City Attorney Kevin Tallant, the special election date had to change to comply with Senate Bill 92, a new law that says the third Tuesday of September is no longer open for special election.

"This is an interesting situation we find ourselves in," he said. "What it boils down to is this: SB 92, passed by the Georgia General Assembly this year, the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Dawsonville City Charter combine to create what you might consider a ‘Bermuda Triangle.'"

Tallant explained that the "triangle" of legalities forces the city to push the election back. Due to the new legal constraints, the next best date would be Nov. 6 because "July wasn't enough time."

The special election and qualifying will be held at the Dawson County Board of Elections office on Academy Avenue.

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