Norwood blocked from Fulton ballot

Mary Norwood’s quixotic run to get on the ballot to challenge John Eaves for the chairmanship of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners is over.

In a 3-1 vote, the Fulton elections board voted against her gaining ballot access because she missed the filing deadline by more than four hours.

Norwood, who as an independent was required to get more than 22,000 signatures on a petition to get on the ballot, had until noon last Friday to file an official notice of candidacy. She filed at 4:40 p.m.

Norwood said she missed the deadline because her campaign manager, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, appeared to be the only one in her organization who was aware the deadline was noon. Norwood said she knew the day, but not the time and asked the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections to show her leniency.

“We were in a state of turmoil,” Norwood said. “I did not get the information that it was at noon. I did not have a bevy of attorneys. I did not have party support.”

In rejecting her bid, board chairman Roderick Edmond said the body was risking constitutional problems had it sided with Norwood.

“We don’t have the discretion to weigh the constitutionality of this,” said Edmond, while acknowledging that Norwood had the support of more than 30,000 Fulton County residents who signed her ballot.

After the ruling, a shaken Norwood said she was uncertain of her next move, but said a fight has to be waged against the county’s prohibitive ballot access rules.

“I am disappointed because 30,000 people in Fulton County wanted Norwood on the ballot,” Norwood said. “It made all of the sense in the world and they still ruled against us.”