Mary Norwood throws herself on the mercy of the Fulton County election board

Roderick Edmond, the chairman of the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, on Tuesday sent Mary Norwood a letter informing that she had failed to qualify as an independent candidate in the race for Fulton County Commission chairman.

She’s running against Democratic incumbent John Eaves.

Read the letter here.

Edmond noted that Norwood filed her official notice of candidacy, due at noon on Friday – as a matter of state law, at 4:40 p.m. that same day. But he offered her a chance to make her case:

If you feel you filed a proper and timely notice of candidacy, you are invited to provide whatever information you would like the the Board to to consider as a basis for a statuatory extension for your being deemed to have properly qualified as a candidate despite your late filing.”

Edmond gave Norwood a deadline of noon today. And this morning, the Norwood campaign sent this reply, arguing that Fulton County had failed to display the rules for qualifying of independent candidates on its web site:

“Because Norwood is seeking a Fulton County office, it would have been reasonable for her to consult with the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections website for information about her race, since the Board would be administering the election. That website contains no information that would have alerted Norwood to the notice of candidacy filing deadline….

“In short, the Board has the discretion to accept Norwood’s notice of candidacy and it should do so in order to give the public the benefit of a meaningful choice in this election. Given the short time line on this matter, we respectfully request a decision from the Board by the end of the day tomorrow.”

One suspects that Norwood knows what the reply will be. She just posted the following on Facebook:

Did you know that Rod Edmond, Chair of Fulton’s Board of Registration and Elections, was appointed by John Eaves?

This is the same Board who will decide to accept my notice of candidacy.

Sounds like another quick trip to a court room could be in the offing.

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40 comments Add your comment

Raquel Morris

July 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

WTH Mary? Why even put yourself in this position? Every other candidate knew when to qualify. Why didn’t you?

Donny Fairplay

July 7th, 2010
12:16 pm

Mary Norwood who padded her resume when running for Mayor with “owning an internet business” should know that an office’s website is a piss poor source of information. If she spent half the time and energy that she devotes on complaining to gaining an understanding of policy and procedure then she might still be in public office.


July 7th, 2010
12:16 pm

I feel bad for Ms. Norwood. It’s unfortunate that a candidate that is willing to take good pieces from each political party to truly make a difference cannot even get on the ballot.

More than Two Parties

July 7th, 2010
12:21 pm

I’m all for more than the 2-party ballot. Mary Norwood is the only candidate to really Chair Fulton for the right reasons. Eaves wants to give the $ that we don’t have away. He spend $100MILLION of a Reserve surplus fund in 3 years on nothing! Broadbent just wants to create Milton.

The Goobernator

July 7th, 2010
12:22 pm

Really Mary! This ain’t your first time at the Rodeo! Wasn’t the deadline on the app form? Didn’t you or a campaign intern read the filing instructions?? Did it specifically state ‘noon’ on the form?! IF you can’t shuffle papers to file a proper candidate form then you probably don’t need to be the head paper pusher for the Fulton County Commission. Go robocall yourself!

Judge Joe

July 7th, 2010
12:25 pm

If in fact the filing deadline wash Friday at noon per state law, then Mary Norwood should have followed the law. What did the Fulton County Election Board tell Mary Norwood when she asked them what the deadline was? You Snooze, You Lose.

Aint Judge Joe

July 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

Find the filing on Fulton’s website YET? OH, YOU CAN’T. How is this BALLOT ACCESS?

Norwood should be on the Ballot to keep the other guys honest. Plus I don’t want to hear about EAVES claim that they’ll be sicking dogs. He is SICKENING

Go Norwood

July 7th, 2010
12:34 pm

Mary said it on the news. If Obama and McCain can be added to the ballot in Texas after filing late, surely she can be added for the Fulton County Chair race. She filed the same day for crying out loud!

Oh Well

July 7th, 2010
12:41 pm

I find it strange that she didn’t have ANYONE in her camp that didn’t look this info up? What are they doing ALL DAY?!

I’m not beholden to any of the Fulton County Commissioners…they’re all pretty ineffective and seem like they are nothing but pawns for the real folks with the “juice”…

race-baiting on both sides, entitlement on both sides have left a lot of Fulton’s new residents looking for other leadership…not those in power who just want to stay in power and those not in power scrambling at anything to get said power!


July 7th, 2010
12:50 pm

I think Mary Norwood should seek counseling for “addiction to government”. I think she is addicted to running and being in some form of government. Mary get help somewhere.


July 7th, 2010
12:53 pm

Maybe she was too busy getting repairs done on her ancient used car.

The Penguin

July 7th, 2010
12:58 pm

Translation: “My dog ate my homework!”

the Machine

July 7th, 2010
1:04 pm

Eaves is a part of the racist machine that’s run Atlanta for the last 40 years and he’s not the only one scared that some little chirpy white lady could take his seat. The good ole Georgia boys (black and white) fear change and that’s why they’ve thrown up legislative hurdles over the years to keep independents out.

Disavantaged Insider

July 7th, 2010
1:32 pm

If she continues with this charade it will make her totally unsuportable in the future. Ya screwed up, Mary. Deal with it, move on, and try again next time. But if you keep poo-pooing about the small stuff, you will lose my support and many others. It’s beneath you.

the wasilla quitta

July 7th, 2010
1:40 pm

Mary. STOP being a professional politician and get a real job whydoncha!


July 7th, 2010
1:49 pm

So once again Mary messes up and points the finger of blame at someone else for not spoon feeding her the information she needs. Heaven help us if she ever gets in a position of power. At least on the City Council she was just one of fifteen. Imagine if she was in sole control of an executive office and kept letting everything fall apart because no one told her what to do next.

Mary is a reactionary, not a leader. It is evident in everything she has done. That’s fine for someone who answers the phone and takes care of very specific problems of the person calling (which is basically all she did on City Council) but she can’t initiate anything correctly. It’s just wait for a problem and then have a knee jerk reaction.

I don’t want Eaves to win another term but Mary has shown through her actions over and over again that she’s not fit for any executive position.


July 7th, 2010
1:50 pm

“Go robocall yourself!” LOL!


July 7th, 2010
2:01 pm

Jim, can’t pull up any of the letters.


July 7th, 2010
2:35 pm

Dear Disavantaged Insider

Were you Educated in Fulton County’s school system? You MUST work for Fulton County… you CAN”T SPELL. You’re just a County worker scared bc you are afraid that real change could do your SPELLING JOB in.

Why don’t you tell us ONE Thing that EAVES has done that’s good


July 7th, 2010
2:42 pm

July 7, 2010
Barry Garner
Director of Registration and Elections
Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections

Dear Mr. Garner:

Thank you for letter of July 6, 2010 concerning Mary Norwood’s status following her filing of her Notice of Candidacy before the close of business on Friday, July 2, 2010. For the reasons that follow, I urge the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections (“Board”) to allow Norwood’s candidacy.

While O.C.G.A. § 21-2-132(d)(2) states that notices of candidacy should have been filed by noon on Friday, July 2, 2010, we respectfully submit that the Board has authority to accept a notice that was filed four hours later. “Words limiting the right of a person to hold office are to be given a liberal construction in favor of those seeking to hold office, in order that the public may have the benefit of a choice from all of those who are in fact and in law qualified.” Griggers v. Moye, 246 Ga. 578, 580 (1980).

The purpose of the notice of candidacy requirement is to allow for the efficient administration of elections. Cromer v. South Carolina, 917 F.2d 819, 822-23 (4th Cir. 1990). Acceptance of a petition filed four hours late does not infringe upon the efficient administration of elections. In fact, courts have frequently ignored or even struck down qualifying deadlines in similar cases. In a one line decision, for example, the Texas Supreme Court denied Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr’s attempt to keep John McCain and Barack Obama off the 2008 ballot because they missed the deadline for qualifying. See In re: Bob Barr, et al., Texas Supreme Court Case No. 08-0761 (Sept. 23, 2008) and “Bob Barr wants McCain, Obama off Texas Ballot,” Atlanta Journal Constitution (Sept. 16, 2008), attached as Exhibits A and B, respectively. Similarly, in Cromer v. South Carolina, the Fourth Circuit allowed an independent candidate on ballot despite his failure to file a notice of candidacy by the March 30 deadline, ruling that the deadline imposed an unconstitutional burden on the rights of would-be candidates and their supporters. 917 F.2d at 822, 826.

I respectfully disagree with your conclusion that O.C.G.A. § 21-2-153(d)(2) prohibits the Board from accepting Norwood’s candidacy. That statute reads “it shall be unlawful for any person to add or remove any candidates from either of the lists provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection following the posting of such lists unless such candidates have died, withdrawn, or been disqualified. Any person who violates this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” (Emphasis added). The “lists provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection” relate to lists of qualifying candidates posted by political parties. O.C.G.A. § 21-2-53(d)(1). Subsection (d)(1) goes on to say that “[i]f the election superintendent qualifies the candidates for a political party in accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section, the election superintendent shall post at the county courthouse a list of all candidates who have qualified with such superintendent for such political party.” (Emphasis added). These statutory provisions do not apply to independent candidates.

Because Norwood is seeking a Fulton County office, it would have been reasonable for her to consult with the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections website for information about her race, since the Board would be administering the election. That website contains no information that would have alerted Norwood to the notice of candidacy filing deadline. The section entitled “Upcoming Elections Calendar” contains a listing of “Important Dates,” which includes “6/28-7/2 Candidate Qualifying for nonpartisan offices to be elected in 2010.” A true and correct website printout is attached as Exhibit C. (Emphasis added). The election for Fulton County Commission Chairperson is a partisan race. The section on the website entitled “2010 Candidate Qualifying” contains three dead links and no useful information. A true and correct website printout is attached as Exhibit D. The section entitled “Fulton County Qualifying Information” also leads to a dead link. A true and correct website printout is attached as Exhibit E. The website fails to satisfy the Board’s duty to “prepare and publish, in the manner provided by this chapter, all notices and advertisements, in connection with the conduct of elections, which may be required by law.” O.C.G.A. § 21-2-70(3).

In short, the Board has the discretion to accept Norwood’s notice of candidacy and it should do so in order to give the public the benefit of a meaningful choice in this election. Given the short time line on this matter, we respectfully request a decision from the Board by end of day tomorrow.

Best regards.

Very truly yours,
J. Matthew Maguire, Jr.

cc: Mary Norwood

Sign Online

July 7th, 2010
3:15 pm

GA should follow Utah’s lead. Our state needs to move beyond its past. Online petition signatures should count. We all use the internet to do everything else, why not sign online? From the WSJ, June 22, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday that state election officials must accept online petition signatures to qualify individuals for the ballot.

“A signature under [Utah law ] does not require a signor to physically handle a piece of paper and sign her name with a pen,” justices said in a 15-page ruling issued as voters went to the polls for primary elections. “An electronic signature is sufficient to satisfy the election code.”

In March, Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell rejected a nominating petition from Farley Anderson, an independent gubernatorial candidate, saying state law didn’t allow for e-signatures. Mr. Anderson had included more than 150 e-signatures on his petition.

In its unanimous ruling, the court said Mr. Bell’s decision “exceeded the bounds of discretion” afforded his office and he would need specific rules in place to exempt the election process from laws that allow electronic signatures in other settings.

The ruling orders the signatures submitted by Mr. Anderson to be recounted to determine whether he qualifies for the November ballot.

“The court’s opinion, which is the first of its kind nationwide, has the potential to increase significantly the ability of independent candidates to access the general election ballots,” said Darcy Goddard, legal director for the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the case on Mr. Anderson’s behalf.

Jim Galloway

July 7th, 2010
3:31 pm

I think I’ve got the links to the letters working now. Many thanks for the heads up.


July 7th, 2010
4:25 pm

Eaves is a racist and needs opposition.

[...] more: Mary Norwood throws herself on the mercy of the Fulton County … Tags: code, county, election, half-the-time, her-resume, mayor, resume, shall-post, she-devotes, [...]


July 7th, 2010
4:55 pm

I’m quite certain that if it had been another candidate who missed the deadline, say, John Eaves, those folks saying that Mary Norwood should be allowed on the ballot because “Eaves is a racist and needs opposition”, or “Norwood should be on the Ballot to keep the other guys honest”, etc, would be singing a different tune. We all seem to find reasons to excuse our favored candidates actions, while condemning the others.

Decatur Taliban

July 7th, 2010
5:28 pm

This one is over and done for. Start over during the next election and declare that you’re a Republican or a Democrat. That’s what she should have done to begin with. She might have some good independent ideas and want to be seen as a woman of the people but the hard reality is that you’re either one or the other in Georgia. That’s the spirit of our electoral laws.

[...] Read this article: Mary Norwood throws herself on the mercy of the Fulton County … [...]

Mr. KnowitAll

July 7th, 2010
9:21 pm

OK. Mary screwed up.

….but these are the same technical tactics Obama used to get elected unopposed. He got into the Illinois legislature w/o opposition–clean as a whistle. Remember, as a US Senator, the Repub. did something stupid and Obama skated by AGAIN with token opposition.

If Eaves feels he can “slime” his way into holding onto his job—No Problem. He’s up to the challenge regardless of the fact he has accomplished NOTHING but further divide the county.

He is a “no-op empty suit” that contributes NOTHING to improving Fulton.

Question Man

July 7th, 2010
10:12 pm

Isn’t it bizarre that Mary Norwood’s ineptitude has pulled John Eaves cohones out of the fire?


July 8th, 2010
5:28 am

All citizens should be concerned about this ballot access process. Georgia continues to have anachronistic laws from decades ago days of pale and male control of the gold dome by both parties. This law was “quietly” intended for blocking blacks from ballot access as candidates for public office. God forbid, plain and simple. During the recent legislative session, this issue was brought up with no action. It is an election year. What Democrat or Repulican would want to allow easier access to the ballot and a possible erosion or split ballot of support thus giving the citizens who are fed up a real choice? Results – our elected officials, our choice, acted in stellar form with no revision, no action, on behalf of thousands of citizens who do not view either party as a representative voice. When will Georgia move forward?

Fulton County is broken inside out. We pay to have online access, timely upated information. There is a full time IT contracted staff to keep computers and websites up and running. There is a full time tax dollar compensated Elections staff in that office and maintaing the public website, our main source for “accurate” information is pt of that compensated employment responsibility. Obviously they aren’t doing their job! I want a refund of my tax dollar and those responsible fired. Chairman Eaves knowingly has turned his back on contract fraud recently exposed before the BOC. No corrective action has been taken by the Chair, or other BOC members for that matter, as those financially benefitting from the contract are “in the power elite” and related by marriage to a high FC official. Theft of our hard earned tax dollars continues daily as the wink and nod MO du jour. Eaves lack of replacement of a 9 count indicted convicted thief at the tax payer well knowingly remains his apoointment on an important Board, funded at citizen expense.

Whether you are pro or con towards Mary, given the candidates running for office who realistically can win this seat, she IS our best citizen choice and hope for honest stewardship of our tax dollars. Mary can win this race and Eaves know it. Plain and simple.


July 8th, 2010
11:28 am

I find it funny why so many (Eaves supporters) are concerned about a woman Ms. Norwood – who has served well – and wants to change government – think she should not be able to run beaucse she has served before. why does she have to get out. Eaves should get out. Why should Eaves or anyone get a second term? Eaves is a bigot. Does not support gay marriage in one of the most gay populated cities. I for one will vote a republican if Mary does not get on the ballot. To me there is no differnce. And maybe my taxes will go down for once.


July 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

@Donny Fairplay

‘Mary Norwood who padded her resume when running for Mayor with “owning an internet business”’

She didn’t “pad” anything, “Donny”. She is a partner in, an Internet business since 1995.

Looks llke the Eaves sock-puppets are at it again, unfortunately misstating facts.


July 8th, 2010
1:23 pm


I agree… it is funny how Eaves (and the Fulton County black powerbase “machinery”) are so scared of diminutive Mary Norwood. It seems Eaves will stoop to ANY level to “win”, including overt race-baiting (e.g. firehoses and dogs) and any other straw he and “the machine” can grab.

Eaves, even if “win”… you’re still a “loser”, you’re still pathetic.


July 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

@Decatur Taliban

“Start over during the next election and declare that you’re a Republican or a Democrat. That’s what she should have done to begin with.”

Why? Both of those parties are dysfunctional and ineffective? Just look at how well Washington “works”. They are opposite ends of the same dysfunctional animal. You people with your unwavering support of the lame two party “system” and your blind allegiance to being either a Republican or Democrat. “My mother… drunk or sober”


July 8th, 2010
8:56 pm

HB1257 or HB1425 filed in the last GA Genral Assembly session would have solved this problem permanently. These were bi-partisan bills that removed all petition requirements just as Florida did in 1999. We need a real Secretary of State who will pressure the legislature to pass such a bill. DOn’t expect to get on from the Republican or Democrat party in Novemnber.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 8th, 2010
11:22 pm

Only a liar would pretend in Mary Bush Norwood the People of Fulton County would have an honest public servant: she has already publicly proven her dishonesty on the question of past votes for president.


July 9th, 2010
1:39 am

Mary Norwood has proven to be just another lousy politician. Just think she almost became mayor…what a joke. P.S. I am tired of Margaret Kaiser robo-calling my home every week thanks to Mary Norwood’s robodial company. You both have lost my vote!


July 9th, 2010
1:49 am

So over the anyone who is black and in office is apart of some machine and any non black candidate is so chase and wholseome. Over It!!! One drum that has been beat to many time. The word is politician. It does not matter the race. We whites have got to get over our anger sometimes and admit Mary f*** up and was irresposible she has been gathering signatures all summer and should have known the rules to qualify for such an important position. This speaks volumes about Mary and she is clearly not bright and her skin tone got her along ways in life. Not Qualified to even qualify!

Sanity Please!

July 9th, 2010
2:02 am

Mary Norwood is a racist too! Who is not a racist!!! Grow up Atlanta and stop the bs! Thats why your government sucks the blacks are wannabe fackers and the whites are full of sh**!


July 12th, 2010
5:48 am

Delcare republican or Democrat? You have to be kidding. Both parties have ignored the citizens in this state. I can’t get my US Senator to even respond. My State Senator only show up in my part of the district in an election year for my money, vote and for my support to get votes for hiim. And for Fulton County, Eaves is supposed to be an “at-large” position. He is non existent to the community. Eaves ran for City Council and lost. He was a warm body who wanted to get elected to an office, the timing was right…..he ran against a self serving ego maniac who switched parties in order to get elected, a al Lee Morris. That one was easy. The race bait robo calls had nothing to do with that win, his oppostiiton lost the city vote because citizens didn’t think he did anyhting when he was in office. Runing against Mary is another story as she is well like in the city, and she will win this election because of all her support. Eaves can’t pull the race card as he will alienate a large faction of those who voted for him the last time, but are divided in support of Mary.

Mary isn’t a racist, and all know it. That is always the last common denominator when all else fails. Lets move to November and vote……..for the better candidate. Hands down it is Mary. There is no place for another term of John Eaves. He is a very, very weak Chair. Look into a little further the things I mentioned in my previous comment. There is more egregious behavior to expose before November.