The letter came a day after elections board member Dele Lowman Smith broached the same subject during an elections board meeting, saying she didn’t understand “why there would be disparate outcomes in the south portion of the county, when everybody has the same equipment, everybody has the same training, everybody has voting machines.”
DeKalb Democrats chairman John Jackson also referenced the situation earlier in the week when he called for Hamilton, the elections director, and Tillman, the elections board chair, to resign.
But in a statement released through a spokeswoman late Thursday, Hamilton said the county has closely monitored polling locations and was “not able to verify claims of wait times at lengths of four to five hours in DeKalb County." She said the county will, nevertheless, be “reconfiguring” an early voting site at South DeKalb Mall this weekend in order to “improve traffic flow and accommodate larger volumes of voters.”
“We are committed to the voters of DeKalb County and will continue to monitor wait times throughout the early voting period,” Hamilton’s statement said.
The commissioners' letter is just the latest manifestation of long-standing tensions with local elections officials. Commissioners have raised concerns about elections leaders being slow to adapt and reluctant to accept outside help, and have questioned whether the county is prepared to run a smooth Nov. 3 election.
Commissioners planned to hold a special-called committee meeting Friday morning to discuss elections issues, but it was delayed until 1 p.m. Monday. The county’s attorney said the notice for the meeting was not given 24 hours in advance due to technical difficulties, so the meeting would have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act.