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Long Election Board gets civil fines for three cases
long county map

Long County will pay $1,500 as part of its settlement of three cases brought before the State Election Board last month.

One of the cases dates back to 2012. On July 31, for the Long County primary election, the county election board failed to properly district voters Roger and Margret Houston. In the same election, officials failed to maintain an absentee ballot log that contained the residence of every voter.

Long officials, according to the order, failed to print the address of the elections office on three absentee ballots. Workers also failed to write the date and time on four absentee ballot envelopes.

Long workers also failed to deliver district electronic election tapes to the Clerk of Court as required by law.

Vanessa Cunnigham was election supervisor when these mistakes were made. In accepting the consent order the county commission and the county board of elections accept that sufficient evidence is in hand to prosecute these matters as they are violations of state election law.

Local officials are ordered to cease and desist from violations of state election law and are publicly reprimanded. A civil penalty of $400 was assessed against commission and the local board of elections.

The consent order process does not require that those involved admit guilt.

A second consent order deals with the March 4, 2013, special election in Long County. In this case voters Isaac Austin and Walter Pelson were placed in the wrong election district, a violation of state law.

In the same election, voter Dewey Archer was sent an absentee ballot, but workers did not stamp the return envelope with the elections office address, a violation of state law. A $100 penalty was assessed.

The third consent order concerns the May 20, 2014, general primary. In violation of state law, Long election officials failed to publish the qualifying fees for the office of State Court Solicitor General before the election.

According to the consent order, on the night of Sept. 14, 2014, Election Superintendent Kierra Hamilton left election machines in the courtroom and hallway of the Long County Courthouse, a violation of regulations.

On the same day the vault was left open and unattended, another violation.

On April 29, 2014, early voting was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. but polls did not open until 10 a.m., in violation of state law.

A civil monetary penalty of $1,000 was assessed.

Consent orders are not admissions of guilt and are a way to close cases without criminal proceedings.

Parker can be reached via email at

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