The Justice Department's request for more information on the election raises a lot of questions for voters.
Some may wonder why part of the federal government is involved with a local election.
That answer goes back to 1965 and the Voting Rights Act.
The legislation outlawed discriminatory practices that kept blacks from voting. It required extensive oversight of states with a history of discrimination, which mainly meant the South.
Section 5 of the law says those areas must get permission from the Department of Justice before making changes that affect voting.
The Voting Rights Act has been renewed four times since 1965. The last time was in 2006, when Congress extended it for 25 years.
Permission, or "preclearance" for elections as the Justice Department calls it, is still required in some states. That includes Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Arizona and a handful of other counties around the country.
Individual jurisdictions can apply to "bail out" of the preclearance requirement. In Georgia, only one attempt has been successful. That's in the Fulton County city of Sandy Springs.
The Supreme Court is taking a fresh look at Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The challenge is coming from Shelby County, Alabama. A judge there said Congress used outdated election data the last time it renewed the act.
The Court is expected to rule in June.
If it decides any part of the act is unconstitutional, Congress would have to look at the law again using up-to-date information in applying the preclearance requirement, or drop it all together.
Some people might wonder if delaying the election of a new consolidated government will affect operations for Macon and Bibb County.
The short answer is it shouldn't.
The Macon City Council and the Bibb County Commission are working on budgets for the fiscal year that starts in July and runs through the end of next June.
That's a year long financial plan for both governments, even though the consolidated government is expected to start up in January.
A task force that's already in place will be working on a separate budget for the consolidated government, regardless of when the election happens. It would cover the last half of the 2014 fiscal year.
Leaders of the new consolidated government would vote on that budget in January.
If the Justice Department does not approve the change to a non-partisan election for the new government, what will be the cost to taxpayers?
Bibb County Election Superintendent Jeanetta Watson says partisan elections are far more expensive.
She says non-partisan elections save "tons of money," because there's no primary, only one ballot, less paperwork and processing, fewer poll workers and less money spent on training.
Watson said county elections, whether general or primary, typically cost $50,000 to $70,000.
Bibb County's Board of Elections meets Friday at 9:30 a.m. They will have to decide whether to move forward with the July election or cancel it, and start planning for November.
They had planned to start sending out absentee ballots next week.