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Voyles will conduct municipal elections

On a 3-1 vote Tuesday night, the Grady County Board of Commissioners cleared the way for the county’s election superintendent to coordinate and manage municipal elections for the city of Cairo.
Cairo city officials over the last several months have been in negotiations with Grady County Probate Judge and Elections Superintendent Sadie W. Voyles to transfer the supervision of elections to the county so that the county’s electronic touchscreen voting machines could be used and the city’s old lever voting machines could be retired.
Previously, the Cairo city clerk served as the municipal election superintendent.
Judge Voyles’ first municipal election will be this fall if any contested races develop. Councilmen Lannis Thornton, Bobby Gwaltney and Kermit Gilliard are all up for reelection.
If only one candidate per district qualifies an election will not be necessary.
Based on the agreement reached by the city and Judge Voyles, she will be paid a fee of $850 per election, but not including runoffs. The city will be responsible for all other costs of conducting the election and will reimburse the county for all election expenses incurred.
The city clerk will continue to serve as the qualifying agent for municipal candidates, according to the agreement between Judge Voyles and the city.
“I don’t see a problem with it. If this is what she (Judge Voyles) wants to do,” Vice Chairman Elwyn Childs said Tuesday night.
Commissioner Al Ball offered a second and then asked if the agreement was the same as the one previously approved between the Grady County tax commissioner and the city of Cairo.
County Administrator Rusty Moye said the contracts were the same and noted that the city is paying for all of the costs of elections.
Chairman Charles Norton voiced his objection to Judge Voyles being paid $850 personally by the city.
Commissioner Billy Poitevint commented, “They will be spending time they’re working for us doing their business, but if the city is willing to pay I guess that is between her and the city.”
To be clear Ball asked, “there is no money out of county coffers, correct?” Administrator Moye repeated, “we are not out anything.”
Childs, Ball and Poitevint voted to approve the contract, which runs year to year, and Chairman Norton opposed.
Commissioner T.D. David was absent Tuesday night due to a medical condition.

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