Murray County Registrar Larry Sampson issued the following statement concerning the reason for the action:
“The qualifying of potential candidates for Murray County School Board Districts 5, 6 & 7 will reopen in order to correctly place all candidates in the proper school board district. The Elections Office has obtained an order from the Superior Court of Murray County in order for this to take place. A new qualifying period is being set up because two candidates were qualified, through no fault of their own, in the wrong district. This would have ultimately resulted in a special election at a later date and would have cost several thousands of dollars to conduct. It would also be most unfair to those who qualify to have to conduct two separate campaigns for the seat. The chain of events which caused this to come about is as follows:
“In 2012, the Murray County Board of education requested some adjustments in their district lines by the use of local legislation in the General Assembly. This was done by the General Assembly.
“The Board of Education transmitted the new district lines to the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office in Atlanta.
“The Reapportionment office prepared the necessary paperwork and produced a map of the new lines and forwarded a copy to the Election Office in Chatsworth.
The Election Office had the mapping technologist in the county prepare new lines for computer maps using Google Earth for Transmission to the firm which handles the Murray County mapping services on the internet.
This information was given to the appropriate office in the courthouse for transmission to the internet mapping service. One of two things happened and it is not clear which; the first possibility is that the information was not sent or failed in transmission. The person responsible for that is no longer with the county. The other possibility is that the company did not act on the new updates when they received them.
The end result is that an outdated map was unknowingly used during qualifying. Each residence was checked. The mistake was discovered and now the process will be held again in order to be fair to all of the candidates who wish to run and to have a legitimate and honest election.
Candidates will not have to repay the qualifying fee if they requalify during the new qualifying period.
The new qualifying period will be from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on the 26th and 27th days of March and from 8:00 a.m. until noon on the 28th of March.