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Fayette County pushes out long-time Elections Board member Watts

Depending on a pending decision from the Fayette County Commission, the county’s Board of Elections may lose its most veteran member.

Marilyn Watts, who has served since 1998, might possibly be replaced as the commission’s representative on the three-member board.

At the Feb. 10 commission meeting, Commissioner Lee Hearn thanked Watts for her service but nominated resident Addison Lester to take her place. Commissioner Steve Brown in turn nominated Watts to be reappointed to the position before the matter was tabled because Brown hadn’t received the background information on Lester.

Although Watts’s term has technically expired, she has continued to serve until the county commission would make a decision on the matter.

Brown said he was concerned because the other two serving elections board members are not likely to return; each of those positions are filled by appointments made by one of the two political parties: both Republicans and Democrats.

Watts has publicly asked to be reappointed, addressing the commission during the public comment portion of the Feb. 10 meeting. She explained that she had a significant amount of training in elections matters, and others have indicated that Watts is very knowledgeable when it comes to parsing Georgia’s various elections laws.

“There are six pages here with classes she has attended on elections training,” Brown told his fellow commissioners. “So I dare say she probably is the most competent person we have,” in the elections process.

The board is charged with training and the selection of poll workers and also of hiring a staff that is paid for by county funds, Watts said. She was also very complimentary of the elections staff, adding that she has felt “privileged to work with them.”

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