Fifteen members of the Gwinnett County legislative delegation have publicly requested that the chairwoman of the county’s elections board resign due to controversial claims made during and in the wake of the 2020 election cycle. 17 other voting and civil rights organizations, including the New Georgia Project, have joined them in their call for resignation.
Alice O’ Lenick, who has been appointed the Gwinnett County elections board’s chairwoman for 2021-22, publicly said at a Republican party meeting that “she was ‘like a dog with a bone’” in her determination to force her colleagues’ hand in changing election laws this cycle. Stating that “they don’t have to change all of them, but they’ve got to change the major parts of them so that we (Republicans) at least have a shot at winning.”
These statements were made in tandem with criticisms surrounding Georgia’s no excuse absentee ballot voting policy, which she feels has made the county’s electoral process less secure.
Those who supported calls for O’ Lenick’s resignation said in their statement that O’Lenick’s partisan comments were unbecoming of an official.
“Because of the irreparable harm your public statements and intended actions have on completing the duties of Chair of the Gwinnett Board of Elections – to maintain public confidence in conducting impartial elections – we the undersigned Gwinnett State Legislators demand your immediate resignation,” wrote the legislators in their public letter to O’Lenick.
There are some lawmakers who are defending O’ Lenick’s comments, saying that she is a hard worker and that the calls for her resignation are a manifestation of “cancel culture”.
On Tuesday, January 19, O’Lenick’s supporters and opposition argued for more three than hours about O’Lenick’s comments. Those in favor of her resignation outnumbers those opposing her resignation by a 2-1 margin.
At the end of the meeting, O’Lenick resisted calls for her resignation, and dismissed those that demanded it.
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