Aug 23, 2022 - News

Public Service Commission elections officially postponed

Illustration of a voting booth with a curtain shaped like a judge's robes
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The two November elections for Public Service Commission are postponed, for real this time.

Catch up quick: A judge postponed the elections a few weeks ago, ruling the electoral structure (statewide elections for regional district seats) disenfranchises Black voters.

  • A week later an appeals court reversed that decision, pending the state's appeal of that first ruling.
  • On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in, ruling the elections shouldn't go forward after all while the appeal continues. The state isn't fighting that decision.

The bottom line: The elections will not happen as scheduled, though the state is still appealing the judge's ruling. Regardless of the outcome, a special election will have to happen, either with the existing — or with a new — electoral district structure.

  • Public Service Commissioners Tim Echols and Fitz Johnson will continue to serve in the meantime.

Why it matters: The Public Service Commission, among other responsibilities, sets customers' utility rates and oversees the construction budget of projects like the massive Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion.

What we're watching: The state's appeal of the original ruling is on an expedited timeline. A special election will likely happen next year.

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