The laws governing Cherokee County commission elections already state that candidates must live in a district for 12 months immediately preceding a commission election to be eligible to run.
State law also requires candidates for county commissions to have 12 months of residency.
“The way the (local) law is written today, there are some conflicts,” Turner said. “It looks as though, according to a pair of legal opinions, that the 12-month requirement is consecutive as opposed to just being 12 months at once.”
The state Constitution prohibits residency requirements of longer than a year, and the existing laws can be interpreted as requiring a total of 24 months of residency, Turner said.
“There was nothing that said it was at the same time,” he said.
In 2012, a candidate for the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners qualified to run after living in his district for less than a year.
“He was able to qualify because the law was in conflict with the (state) Constitution,” Turner said.
According to Turner, former commissioner Jim Hubbard asked legislators to look into the residency laws.
“We looked into it and found that the law, as it was written and as the opinion has established, it needed to be tweaked,” Turner said.
The local delegation has not yet voted on the bill.
Turner said he dropped a bill Thursday to clear up the state code regarding the same matter.
Reps. Calvin Hill (R- Canton) and Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock) have signed onto that bill, according to Turner, who said the bill has garnered support from legislators outside the local delegation as well.
“This is not just a law that affects Cherokee County,” he said.