Fulton judge refuses to be drawn into Norwood petition flap

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.

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8 comments Add your comment

Mr. KnowitAll

July 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

Well…Great! Our judges refuse to decide until it’s too late to recover from whatever decision they make….Sounds like the URBAN downtown politicians are taking over this election.
Why not stop the Obamanist, nickel-dime technicality, Chicago-style tactics and just run an election? ….HUH, EAVES?

Has somebody bothered to ask John Eaves: “Are you too “chicken” to run against Norwood straight up? Well….are ya punk? ”

How soon before we hear your blatant racist bating ads bringing up fire hoses and police dogs? Huh, Eaves?



July 1st, 2010
5:48 pm

I think I sense a write-in campaign for Norwood building.

No Teabagging

July 1st, 2010
7:02 pm

Maybe Mary can robocall everyone in Fulton Co. asking for their support! Since she owns a robocall business, all she has to do is pony up for the registered voter list. Oops, people hate robocalls. What’s that Mary? You don’t want to piss off potential supporters before you’re officially on the ballot?

Fat Lady Sings

July 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

So, let’s see, the Board of Elections is appointed by the Fulton County Commission….. how could they possibly be unbiased in all this? Eaves is conveniently getting his attys to stall until after the deadline.

Eaves, what are you so afraid of?

Ross Reynolds

July 1st, 2010
10:47 pm

I see, so if a judge can’t decide when presented with all the evidence, how is the candidate supposed to know? Kafka, where are you when we need you?


July 2nd, 2010
10:58 am

John Eaves is wrong, and he knows it. I hope Mary Norwood succeeds. If I lived in Fulton, I would sign the petition for her.

Flora Bunda

July 2nd, 2010
2:25 pm

John Eaves is an Idiot. He must have attended the ‘Mike Jacobs School of Illiteracy.” Eaves, like Rep. Jacobs, twists the law and goes to court over the dumbest things. I thought things were bad in DeKalb County. Georgia’s still Crackers alright. Crackers as in Crazy.


July 2nd, 2010
4:06 pm

She didn’t follow the rules. Why the hate? I like her a lot, but she didn’t pay attention to detail.