Ora Simonds has been the Democratic precinct committeewoman for Ward 4, Precincts 4 and 6, for several years, but after problems at the past two elections, she has been asked to step down from her position.
“I was told that it would be better if they could put somebody else in that position,” Simonds said.
Ron McNabney, chairman of the Madison County Democrats, and Martha Carmichael, deputy chairwoman of the Madison County Democrats, had a meeting with Simonds to talk about her position.
“We told her she would be much more useful doing something else,” Carmichael said.
In May, Simonds was involved in a disturbance at the Robinson Elementary School polling site during the primary election. According to the case report, she was yelling at a police officer and, after she was warned repeatedly, she was handcuffed.
Simonds said she was trying to call the Madison County Election Board because she saw problems at the polls when she was arrested.
A similar incident happened in November, McNabney said.
“I hate what happened,” he said. “I cannot let that happen again. The school was upset.”
McNabney and Carmichael asked Simonds to resign, and she said she would in the meeting, McNabney said.
“I did not step down,” Simonds said.
Simonds was voted into her position, so she has to step down for her position to be open, Carmichael said. There are other ways to remove her from the position, but the Democratic Party does not want to go that route, Carmichael said. One of those ways would be to form a committee that would decide whether she is capable of performing her job.
“We don’t want to hurt her feelings or cause her any problems,” Carmichael said. “We’ll probably have to have another meeting with her. She’s a nice lady. I’ve known her for a number of years. We don’t want her to come to that because she is a very nice person.”
McNabney said he would appoint Tamie Dixon-Tatum into Simonds’ position.
“When the opportunity was basically brought to me, I was told that (Simonds) stepped down,” Dixon-Tatum said. “If she truly stepped down, then I was willing to step in and help out.”
Dixon-Tatum was unsuccessful in her bid for Madison County Treasurer last year.
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