State probing Tyrone church’s ‘no’ sign on election day
Flap resulted in Tyrone officials re-locating polls to library for future elections
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office is investigating a complaint about a political sign that greeted Tyrone voters in November’s municipal election.
The sign for First Baptist Church of Tyrone contained a message urging voters to cast a “no” vote against Sunday alcohol sales. The catch is that the church was hosting the municipal polls, and it may have violated the distance ban for political signage and “campaigning” as prescribed by Georgia law.
The sign controversy is what led to the decision to move the election day polling place from the church to the Tyrone city library, county officials have said.
Once the Secretary of State’s investigation is complete, the findings will be presented to the state elections board for possible action, officials said. The board can take a number of actions, including:
• Close the case, if they feel no violation has occurred;
• Forward the case to the Georgia attorney general’s office, which would most likely work with the respondents to create a consent order;
• Or request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge;
Also, if the matter is determined to be a felony, the secretary of State’s Office would consult with the Fayette County District Attorney’s office to determine if there is a need to pursue criminal charges, said Secretary of State spokesman Matt Carrothers.
The final penalty, if any rests on the decision of the state elections board, which can levy a fine, issue a letter of reprimand and order elections training if necessary.