With the Board of Elections validating the votes on Friday, I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Receiving nearly 68% of the votes is a strong indicator that my emphasis on programs focused on quality of life and ensuring that everyone can safely work, live, play and pursue their dreams resonate with Republican voters. Now on to November.

As can be seen from pictures of my participation in the Juneteenth march on Friday, change is in the air.

How we respond to them as a community may best determine our future as a County. I have no doubt, however, that social and political pressure will produce changes. Some may not go far enough in the minds of many and some may go too far for others. Because passions are high in different corners arriving at acceptable solutions may be difficult. But the effort must be made because non-violent answers come through avenues where voices are heard and respected.

One of these channels is the ballot box. There has been significant controversy about the new voting system and there is a consensus that it has failed its first test. That may be true but the answer would depend upon the metric or metrics for success? Is it a system that guarantees your vote is counted? Is it one that produces results in a timely basis? Does it have sufficient options that permits voting for all? Perhaps the system is one that encompasses all of the variables. Following up on my comments last week voicing my displeasure about comments that he made about poll workers, I spoke with the Secretary of State Raffensperger on Thursday about future elections. I believe we both made our points. I did acknowledge that my words made his already difficult responsibility even harder and apologized. He graciously accepted which allowed us to move forward by agreeing that we needed to work together to find solutions.

In the end, if there is to be optimism in the future, there has to be respect for differing opinions. In a recent Around Town, comments by State Representative David Wilkerson might have led some to believe that he and I are on different sides of the same issue. I prefer to look through the lens that we both want to arrive at the same place but we don’t agree on the route to get there. We both concur that there need to be more drop boxes and use of funds from the CARES legislation to address some of the shortfalls. Notably the Board of Commissioners has already approved the use of CARES funds to increase compensation for poll workers. Furthermore, the Board has a record of fully funding the cost of all elections and recently approved the purchase of a new building to house election operations. Likewise, I am confident that the Cobb delegation will work with the State legislature to identify funds for extra machines, technical workers, and the drop boxes which must be special ordered.

Let’s end on a high note. There were more than 100,000 absentee ballots cast. Everyone was the result of successful absentee ballot application. The results reflected the Get Out the Vote effort by a broad spectrum of people who believe in change through the ballot box. One certain way that will peacefully come is through the voters in November. I fought for that expression of freedom and treasure it profoundly.

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