Macon Councilman Questions Motive for Nonpartisan Races

8:27 AM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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Henry Ficklin


Macon council member Henry Ficklin says there is an ulterior motive behind proposals to switch to nonpartisan elections in Macon and Bibb County.

Republican state Senator Cecil Staton drafted six bills that would erase party lines for races like the coroner, board of education, and all the seats in the consolidated government.

Ficklin asked the city attorney to examine the legality of that, since the consolidation bill passed in July included partisan elections.

Attorney Judd Drake told him the legislature has the authority to make the switch, but a judge will have to review it to make sure the move isn't meant as a way to undermine minority votes.

"We know that in Bibb County, by and large, most of the people who have been elected, African Americans, have all been Democrats," says Ficklin. "I can't remember any Republican African American being elected any time recently, so to change that process certainly is to dilute black voting strength."

Staton's bills passed in the Senate last week. Representative Allen Peake says he supports the idea and will carry them to the House.

Supporters have told 13WMAZ they think a non-partisan climate will make it easier for voters to make issues-based decisions when they go to the polls.

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