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Elections Board member's future unclear

ALBANY, Ga. -- One of five appointed members of the Albany/Dougherty Board of Registration and Elections refused Wednesday to respond to questions about his failure to take part in certifying recent election results, leaving other members of the board to ponder asking for his resignation.

Lonzie White, appointed to the Elections Board by the county's Democratic Party, initially refused to respond to questions about his responsibility as a board member and finally told the board, "I will make no comment tonight. Any comment I have to make will be made to the Democratic Party."

The exchange occurred after the board completed the tedious process of verifying write-in votes cast in the Dougherty County School Board at-large race during the Nov. 6 General Election. Officials in the Elections office told The Albany Herald Monday that the completed verified vote total for write-in candidate the Rev. Lorenzo Heard was 3,583, but Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson advised The Herald Tuesday that that total was incomplete.

Nickerson said after Wednesday's Elections Board meeting that she would have the completed totals today.

Board member Walter Blankenship brought up the subject of White's failure to participate in certification of the election results after the board completed the verification of hundreds of write-in votes cast during the election.

"Mr. White, you seemingly do not want to participate in the certification of elections," Blankenship said. "Does your failure to do so express a personal desire or position not to do so, or was your nonparticipation Monday due to some unavoidable absence?"

White responded, "I don't have a position. I'm not interested in discussing my position."

Blankenship then said the board's bylaws clearly state that its primary duty is to certify election results.

"My only concern, Mr. White, is that as a member of this board, by conscientiously saying you don't want to be a part of the process, that reduces the effectiveness of the board," Blankenship said. "It's clearly a violation of our procedures and bylaws. My question to you is do you have an objection to certifying elections or do you plan to disqualify yourself from certain elections?

"It's not personal. To what extent do you plan to refuse to do what the secretary of state requires us to do?"

White refused to respond.

Blankenship continued, "Ms. Nickerson, as Elections supervisor, cannot certify elections. It is the responsibility of this board. Again, it's nothing personal, but I ask you if you intend to participate?"

White responded, "I have no further comment on this matter, Mr. chairman."

Board Chairman Alan Pendleton asked White, "Do you feel it is your duty to take part?"

White responded, "No comment."

Board member Commodore Conyers asked, "Do you have no comment just tonight or forever?"

Responded White, "I have no further comment tonight."

Conyers asked, "What about the next board meeting (scheduled Dec. 19)?"

"I'll be there," White said.

Pendleton asked, "What do you deem your responsibilities to the Democratic Party?"

White answered, "I'll make my comments to the Democratic Party."

Blankenship said that while he was not making any recommendations at the meeting, Page 8 of the board's bylaws say that the failure by a board member to perform his duties is grounds for the board to ask for that member's resignation.

"The highest priority this board has is certifying elections," Blankenship said. "This is no small matter. It has not come to this point yet, but it's an opportunity that we might make such a request. Maybe this is not where he's happy being."

One member of the Elections board is appointed by each of the Albany and Dougherty County commissions, the Republican and Democratic parties and an at-large member chosen by other members of the board.

The mood of the almost-two-hour-long meeting was lighter during the varification of write-in votes. At one point Blankenship said, "Mr. Conyers, I think hanging chads were a lot easier."

When Nickerson noted that one write-in vote had been cast for Jesus, Blankenship quipped, "I thought He was a Republican."

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 1 month ago

Lonzie White........another worthless piece of TRASH. Flush the TRASH down the pipes.

Lonzie White is the perfect representation of His Kind. WORTHLESS!!

Carlton Fletcher.......based on your "writings" Lonzie White and You are on the same side!!

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MRKIA 2 years, 1 month ago

LONZIE? WHAT THE HELL IS A LONZIE? HOW ABOUT LAZIE?

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stc1993 2 years, 1 month ago

The way I see it, he didn't want to perform his duty as required & he should be fired & replaced.

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FryarTuk 2 years, 1 month ago

Ginger Nickerson, the office staff and all the board should resign or be dismissed summarily. They all fell of the turnip truck.

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waltspecht 2 years, 1 month ago

Where do they find these people? Or for that matter, what do the Democrats have in mind? Is this another move to challenge the results and somehow get Heard in?

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Bulldawg 2 years, 1 month ago

Just remember Obama voters, this guy is a member of your party. Hmmm I think that White has yet another "hidden agenda" that precluded him from counting votes.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 1 month ago

White's actions are representative of too many people in the SOWEGA region. Can't get your way through the normal process? Then just become a roadblock.

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Jimboob 2 years, 1 month ago

It seems to have worked in Congress...

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Bulldawg 2 years, 1 month ago

The laws and ideas presented to congress by the dems have been and continue to be bad for the country. A roadblock, in this case, can be a good thing.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 1 month ago

I heard it is so bad they are copying Romney's ideas. He is suppose to go to Washington to help the country out with economics. Good guy that he is, he will probably do it. Go figure the kind of leadership, uh no leadership we have.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 1 month ago

Congress is there to Represent their constituents, not their personal hidden agendas. As such, the House of Representatives is doing exactly what I hope and expect that they will do.

Unlike Lonzie White who was selected and appointed to perform a job which is to certify an election. Since he refused to participate, he should be considered as someone who has disqualified himself from the position.

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Bulldawg 2 years, 1 month ago

Good point, Sister Ruby. That was my point that Congress and the Senate are there for the people elected by the people.

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VietVet1 2 years, 1 month ago

LOL - OK here's the real deal: suspend him 30 days, do a complete investigation, then have him return. That's been working so far.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 1 month ago

I consider that abandonment of the position. If I did that at work I'd be fired. Why is this any different? If he chooses not to participate, THEN GET RID OF HIM. Why is this stuff so difficult here? Are they afraid he'll sue like Heard?

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chinaberry25 2 years, 1 month ago

I did not get my way so I am going to take my marbles and some of yours too and go him.

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VietVet1 2 years, 1 month ago

Dong!! The light bulb just went off. He hasn't finished writing in Racist Heard name on the ballots he has so they can be counted.

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