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Currie eyes nonpartisan election bill

A local legislator is looking to change the face of countyelections.

District 92 Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, is preparinglegislation that will separate partisan politics from countyelections by prohibiting candidates from choosing and receivingsupport from political parties. She intends to drop her bill, theNonpartisan County Elections Act, into the House’s hopper when thesession starts in January.

“If you want a fair election, that’s how it should be done,”Currie said.

Currie said the act would offer more choice to voters byallowing local office candidates to be chosen regardless of avoter’s political affiliation.

Whether the candidates would be listed on both Republican andDemocrat ballots during a primary election or listed en masseduring a general election would be a matter to be decided by thesecretary of state, she said. Eliminating partisan affiliations forcounty candidates may eliminate the need for primary ballot listingaltogether.

Currie also hopes her bill would help cut down on voter fraud byeliminating party loyalty in offices where absolute objectivity isrequired.

“There should never be an election commissioner that has to runa fair election that should be forced to pick a party,” she said.”There should never be a circuit clerk that helps runs electionsthat should have to pick a party.

“Your justice court judges have to a pick a party, but it’sillegal for your chancery judges to be partisan,” she continued.”Why isn’t it for justice court judges?”

Currie said she would seek support for her bill from statewideassociations of supervisors, sheriffs, circuit clerks and othercounty offices.

“Our county officials do a good job, but I don’t think theyparticularly want to be partisan,” she said. “Across the state, wecontinue to have problems in our elections, and I believe this isone way to end some of the problems.”