GRA Member & Election Integrity Advocate Larry Hand Appointed to Cherokee Board of Elections

GRA Member & Election Integrity Advocate Larry Hand Appointed to Cherokee Board of Elections

On Tuesday evening, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners met to appoint four new members to the Board of Elections. The Board of Commissioners there is made up of four Republicans, who could have appointed four strong, election integrity candidates to serve in those positions, yet three of their choices did not reflect a concern for integrity, nor for the will of the people. 

Beth 234x300
Beth Mercure

GRA member Beth Mercure, an accountability-minded election integrity activist and Republican precinct officer in the county said: “I am very happy to announce they appointed Larry Hand, but very disappointed by the lost opportunity for them to do the right thing by The People!” Larry Hand has been a member of the North Metro Republican Assembly since September of 2022. 

At the meeting, an argument was made that, since Cherokee County votes roughly 75% Republican, perhaps the appointments should reflect that voting percentage, with three Republicans and one Democrat. After all, the Board of Commissioners consists of four Republicans and no Democrats.

Those present reported that all the constituents who spoke at the meeting, except for one, were in favor of the 3-1 allotment. Nevertheless, this suggestion was ignored.

Of the two Republicans who were appointed, one of them appears to have been a nomination from a brand new group outside the official Cherokee County Republican Party. This is an unprecedented move, though not entirely outside of the legal parameters of the commissioners, under a brand new law that was recently passed.

Richard Jordan

North Metro RA President Richard Jordan from Cherokee expressed more optimism about being able to possibly work with both of the two Republican appointments to the local Board of Elections to advance election integrity, even though one of them was not nominated by the official Cherokee GOP.

“Another controversy is whether and how the different factions of the Republican Party should be represented. The new leadership of the local Republican Party is mostly supported by those who seriously doubt the integrity of the elections process and want to make major changes,” wrote Harry Johnston, Chairman of the Cherokee Board of Commissioners.

“But I believe there’s an equal or larger group of local Republicans who believe elections have been substantially fair and accurate, at least in Cherokee County. I’m in that group. The BOC may decide to appoint one BOER member from each of these two Republican groups.”

Clearly election integrity is a central, defining issue that has dominated the recent changes in the Republican Party. Many activists in the GOP believe that evidence of vulnerabilities in Georgia’s elections system such as the Halderman Report reveal simply cannot be ignored any longer. This evening Gwinnett County will also be having a Board of Elections meeting where activists hope to make an impression.

The Accountability Rule Goes Local


One recourse that the Cherokee GOP, and other Republican organizations in red counties are considering is to adopt their own local version of the Accountability Rule. While the state GOP is still considering the implications of the proposal, local county GOPs may provide a testing ground to assure more people it could succeed at a state-wide level.

County parties have the constitutional authority to qualify Republican candidates for county commissioner races, and if they believe a commissioner is not working in the interests of the Republican cause, they can vote to block incumbent commissioners from running for re-election as a Republican in the next primary election.

Already, in several solid red counties where the GRA has helped the grassroots to win this year during conventions season, GOP organizations are planning how they could implement their own version of the Accountability Rule against wayward “Republican” commissioners come next March. These counties often find themselves in the unpleasant position of having Democrats run as Republicans (because no Democrat would be elected out-right in these rural districts otherwise). While election integrity is a large concern, constituents are also concerned about other bad policies being foisted on them, such as interference with the free market in rural places where restrictions have been added against farming chickens and other livestock. Corporate cronyism at the county level has also been a subject of scorn.

So-called “Republican” county commissioners may be running under a different banner next year if they don’t listen to their local GOP leaders.

One comment

Leave a comment