Cobb County Candidate Confusion About The 2024 Elections: Lines In The Sand

sign with American flag stating "Vote Here"

By John A. Tures, Professor of Political Science, LaGrange College

In March, Cobb County candidates for office begin to qualify for the ballot, choose the districts they want to run in, and voters then pick those they want to represent them, first in the primary, and then in the general election in November. It’s simple, right?

In this modern-era, it’s not.

The Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration (Cobb BOER), of course, doesn’t control what happens in the primaries, as that power belongs to the parties. It’s a matter for each party’s county office. But of course, those seeking office, the voters and even the parties themselves are asking the same question: where are the district lines?

Regarding the maps, there’s always the “Congressional, State Senate and State House Redistricting Plan” adopted and signed into law late last year. But it’s not so simple. There’s a challenge to it a Federal District Court, as Cobb County’s communications team notes.

For the Cobb County School Board adopted earlier this year, you’d think that would be more straightforward. But there’s a court challenge, Finn v. Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration. Unlike the Congressional and General Assembly map, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the ruling, so that’s something for now, but we’ll see what happens when the court issues its decision.

Then there’s the Cobb County Commission redistricting map. In another court case, Floam v. Cobb County, the Cobb County Superior Court decided that the “Home Rule Resolution” for the map was unconstitutional. So that should settle the matter, right? As ex-coach and college football pundit Lee Corso would say “Not so fast, my friend.” You see, the Cobb County Attorney quickly filed an appeal, so the Home Rule Map is still in place…for now.

Everyone’s looking at the Georgia Supreme Court to decide whether the Home Rule Map is going to stay, or a legislative map drawn up, for those in the Cobb County Commission. That Floam case may be scheduled for some time in mid-April, which doesn’t leave much time for the May primary. So for now, the Cobb County Board is going forward with the Home Rule Map.

And we haven’t even touched the issue of the presidential primary voting precincts moving around so voters are still trying to figure out where to vote. And the wrong ballots were also mailed out to some Cobb County voters, making the whole start to the 2024 election a hot mess.

Cobb County voters may be thinking “Let’s just not have any court lawsuits in an election year.” But the Finn and Floam cases may well have enough merit. Our judges’ job is just to figure it out. And some maps weren’t put out until recently, so it’s not as though the plaintiffs had time to wait to make their case.

It may be too late to sort out everything for the primary election, but this is a warning for Cobb County in the Fall. The candidates, parties and constituents all need guidance on their choices, months in advance. Perhaps the legislature could step in to set at least three months before any election date as the cutoff date for any changes. Or that could come in the form of a court challenge until the General Assembly is good to go. This needs to be put in place before the end of the Summer, to provide all in Cobb County with a truly free and fair election.

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. His views are his own. He can be reached at His Twitter account is JohnTures2.