MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - You may have heard talk about making local elections for the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government non-partisan. But what does that really mean and why make the change now?
Right now, candidates running for local office declare a party and it is suppose to stay that way with the upcoming consolidated government. But some state officials are considering dropping the labels and that doesn't sit well with everyone in the local delegation.
Red, blue, or in between, political party affiliation plays an important role in elections. State Representative Allen Peake thinks we should get rid of the labels.
"If you can't get elected because you're a good, qualified individual but can only be elected because you have a "D" next to your name, then you know what we're in sad shape as a community," Peake said.
He's calling for local non-partisan elections. That means candidates wouldn't declare a political party. Peake says we should forget the "D's" and "R's" and vote based on the candidate's merit.
"We need to be electing the most qualified, the most capable, the most confident people for our elected positions and I believe this is a way to make sure that's done," he said.
But State Senator Elect David Lucas disagrees. He believes this is just the republican's way to break into the majority democratic Bibb County.
"To skew the politics is to change to non partisan so you don't have to come out and say what you believe in or what philosophy you agree with," Lucas said.
State Representative Nikki Randall thinks trying to chance the consolidation charter to allow non-partisan elections is deceiving the voters.
"I think at this point to change any major components on what we just asked the voters to vote on and approve, I think its total deception and I think its not right," she said.
This is a bill that will have to be passed by the State House and Senate. Representative Peake is looking for your feedback. He's posted an online survey to find out you think about making the switch.