As I read the Gainesville Times today I am reminded of the problems in the Hall County Elections Office. It is my opinion that Hall County has one of the worst run Elections Offices in the State of Georgia. Our Elections Director, Charlotte Sosebee, has to be the worst high ranking employee in Hall County. If the public new half of what goes on in the Elections Department I am convinced they would plead with Judge Fuller to replace her. Let me enlighten you on just a few topics.
The office is currently under investigation for “at least one given the wrong ballot.” What the article does not say is their have been multiple others who have signed affidavits saying they were given the wrong ballot. There are two issues here. One it is against the law for any elections official to knowingly allow a person to vote twice. You would think the Elections Supervisor would know that but she directed the voter to specifically vote again. Second is the fact that the districts that people were suppose to vote in were not loaded into the system properly. Who is supposed to make sure that the district lines are correct? Well that would be the Elections Supervisor, that’s who. It is also against the law (you may know it as the Voting Rights Act) to not load the Federally Approved Districts. So at the least “our” Elections Supervisor has potentially broken two laws directly related to her JOB!
These are just the most recent problems in the office. Others are less known or forgotten.
On the topic of less known: have you noticed that over the past few election cycles that the results have been coming in much quicker than those of three to four years ago? It used to drive me crazy to watch the state election results come in and Hall County would drag in finally. I thought that once we had the new fancy touch screen voting machines election results were suppose to be fast. One day I had finally had enough and called the Secretary of State’s office and asked if there was any specific reason the results came in so slow from Hall County. To my surprise there was a very good reason Hall Co came in so much slower than our surroundings: Our Elections Office was using the old method of faxing in the results instead of using the digital upload method developed for the touch screen system. According to the SOS Elections Division, Charlotte Sosebee did not know about the digital upload. Don’t you think the Elections Director should know how to use the equipment? Don’t worry, the SOS Office sent someone to Hall Co to show Hall Co Elections how to use the equipment.
On the forgotten issues I’ll have to take you back to 2009; any idea? Well let me remind you: Charlotte Sosebee thought it would be a great idea to have all the ballots printed bilingually. Now, I’m not one of those who hate immigrants or even illegals for that matter; but, I do believe that all immigrants and illegals who want to stay need to learn to speak English. Being able to speak English is a requirement of citizenship. Only citizens can vote. So it makes sense to me that everyone who votes should be a citizen so they should have the ability to figure out a ballot. Needless to say, citizens and elected officials banded together to stop the insanity and the bilingual ballot never happened.
There are other issues but I actually want you to finish reading this, so I’ll list just a few topics with no details. Here are the rumors and speculation that seem very plausible:
- Charlotte Sosebee is hardly ever in the office;
- Tax payer funded trips for the entire elections staff;
- Charlotte Sosebee’s family is paid to work on election days but all they seem to do is play board games in the back of the office;
- Charlotte fighting to keep elections out of sight from the rest of the government offices no matter what the costs (building rent of 6 times going lease rates.);
- Anne Phillips Lea (previous Elections Director) saying to the Judges not to make Charlotte permanent due to her incompetence;
- And lastly, Charlotte Sosebee serving as interim beyond legal time limits (6 months is the legal maximum.)
Sometimes I really miss Anne Phillips Lea. I really hope you are enjoying retirement!