Friday, November 03, 2023

Just Less Than 10 Percent Of Watkinsville Voters Have Cast A Ballot In Council Races Before Election Day On Tuesday

***Candidates Respond To Two Questions***

Twenty-eight Watkinsville voters cast a ballot in the final day of early voting on Friday, the largest number that has turned out on any day in the three weeks of advance voting leading up to Tuesday’s Election Day.

A total of 224 of the city’s voters has participated in early voting, and three more have returned an absentee ballot, meaning that just 9.6 percent of the 2,369 eligible voters have cast a ballot so far.

Election Day voting runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 191 VWF Drive, in Watkinsville.

Voters are deciding between Rebecca Billings and incumbent Chuck Garrett for Council Post 1 and between incumbent Connie Massey and Carolyn A. Maultsby for Council Post 2.

Mayor Brian Brodrick’s name also is on the Nov. 7 ballot, but he has no opposition.

Billings, Garrett, and Maultsby responded to a pair of questions asking them why they are running in the election and what they would like to accomplish in the two-year term if they are elected.

Their answers are listed in full lower in this post.

Early Voting Tally

Voters had 17 days during when they could cast a ballot at the Office of Elections and Voter Registration at the new County Administrative Building, just outside the city limits on the north side of Watkinsville.

Click To Enlarge

Eighty nine voters cast a ballot in the first six days of early voting, 67 voted in the second six days, and 68 voted in the last five days ending today (Nov. 3).

Saturday voting was held in those first two weeks, but no early voting will take place tomorrow.

The largest turnout until today had been on the first two days of early voting, when 24 persons each day cast a ballot.

Only two people cast a ballot on Oct. 21, the first of the two days of Saturday voting.

All Watkinsville registered voters (2,369) are in the City Hall Precinct, one of eight precincts in the county, but not all of the registered voters in the City Hall Precinct (4,197) fall within the city limits of Watkinsville.

Only those voters inside the city boundaries are eligible to vote in Watkinsville Council and Mayoral elections.

Oconee County has 32,750 registered voters, so only 7.2 percent of the county’s voters play a role in deciding the composition of the governing body of the County seat.

Responses To Questions

I sent each of the four candidates an email message on Oct. 30 asking for a response to these linked questions:

Final Election Office Report

“Why do you want to serve on Council for the next two years? What do you hope to accomplish in that time period?”

I sent a reminder on Nov. 2.

Billings, Garrett, and Maultsby responded. The responses below are as they were submitted by the candidates, in their entirety.


“I am running as a candidate because City Council needs new faces. I will propose term limits for City council members and Mayor, explore budget cuts in various departments, abolish unnecessary permits and fees for residents and local business, and revisit the proposed plan for the truck route and Harris Shoals Park plan.”


“When I got elected there were a lot of things that had already been approved such as Wire Park, Trove etc., and some of the earlier complaints that our citizens had with these developments I didn't have a vote in them.”

“Now after being on the Council for 2 years, I would like to serve another term to be able to have input on the Thomas Farm property, I would also like to have input on coming up with an ordinance that would protect our Historic properties, We need more sidewalks for our citizens, and finally trying to work on improving our traffic flow while keeping our community safe and thriving.”


“I would like to serve on behalf of the people of Watkinsville by actively providing clarity, transparency, conservative principles and fiscal responsibility in the following areas: Budgeting and SPLOST allocations, Development Projects, Parks, Greenspaces and Trails, Transportation and Public Safety. Public trust in government requires communication and the time to listen. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 7th. “

Qualifying Forms

Mayor and Council races in Watkinsville are nonpartisan.

The information below comes from the forms completed by the candidates when they qualified for the election.

Billings listed her profession as “retail,” her age as 42, her address as 149 VFW Drive, and her time in residence in Georgia as 42 years, with all of those in Oconee County and 10 of those in Watkinsville.

Garrett listed his profession as sales manager, his age as 66, his address as 25 South Main Street, and his time in residence in Georgia as 66 years, with all of those in Oconee County and the last five in Watkinsville.

Massey listed her occupation on the qualification form as retired, her age as 73, her address as 2 Second Street, her time in Georgia as 44 years, with 38 of those in Oconee County, and the same number of years in Watkinsville.

Maultsby listed her occupation as self-employed, her age as 58, her address as 1050 Taylors Drive, her time in Georgia as 26 years, with all of those in Oconee County and in Watkinsville.

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