A superior court judge has refused to be drawn into an early decision to decide whether several thousand signatures endorsing Mary Norwood’s independent candidacy for Fulton County Commission chairman are invalid.
On the petition signatures in question, the word “Fulton” listed on the accompanying addresses is typed instead of hand-written by the signers. Norwood says she obtained permission from election officials to do so.
Norwood’s Democratic rival, incumbent John Eaves, insists that state law requires the word “Fulton” to be handwritten – by those signing the petition.
Click here for a little background. Norwood says 8,000 signatures are at stake. She must gather 23,000 signatures by July 13.
Read the one-page decision here. Wrote Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter:
“The Court finds that, at this time, there is no actual controversy…and the ends of justice do not warrant a declaratory judgment.”
Which means Norwood won’t get an opinion on the legality of her signatures until after she’s handed in her petitions.
From the Norwood campaign:
“While I am disappointed with the judge’s ruling, our campaign is hopeful that when the petitions are filed on July 13th, the Board of Registration and Elections and, if necessary, Judge Baxter, will validate the signatures by the law, their Department’s written approvals and common sense,” Norwood said.
“Rejection of our position in the next few weeks could invalidate thousands of signatures, which could keep me off the ballot. This would be a real loss for registered voters all over Fulton County, putting them in a position where their voices may not be heard this November.”
Norwood continued, “It is unclear how John Eaves and his campaign even knew about the Department of Registration and Elections’ approval for the use of the word ‘Fulton’ on the petition form.” Material returned to Norwood’s staff following an open records request supplied no insight into how John Eaves could have learned of the approval to Norwood’s campaign.