Election Commission chooses officers, gets update on appointments

Published 5:09 pm Monday, April 17, 2017

Members of the Carter County Election Commission elected officers, reappointed the county’s election administrator, and received an update on member appointments placed on hold by the state.

On Monday morning, the Election Commission held a reorganization meeting. During the reorganization process, the members of the county’s Election Commission can change. The State Election Commission appoints members of the county’s Election Commission based on the recommendation of the County Republican and Democratic Party chairs along with recommendations by the county’s elected representatives in the State Legislature.

The current members of the Election Commission are Doug Buckles, Paul Souder, and Bud Whitehead representing the Republican Party, and Wayne Smith and Millard Garland representing the Democratic Party.

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So far, the State Election Commission has reappointed Buckles and Souder to continue serving on the Carter County Election Commission. Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris said she had been notified by the State Election Commission that the appointments for the seats held by Whitehead, Smith, and Garland are currently in an “on hold” status.

During the meeting, Monday, Harris updated members of the Commission as to what the “on hold” status means for the board.

“The ones on hold will still work in their official capacity as a commissioner,” Harris said. The State Election Commission is slated to meet on July 10 to decide on the appointments that are currently on hold, Harris said.

As part of the reorganization meeting, members of the Carter County Election Commission elected officers for the group. The members voted unanimously to re-elect Buckles to serve as the chairman and Garland as the secretary.

Harris informed the group that if a person whose appointment status is on hold is elected as an officer, they will serve in that post until the on hold appointments are finalized. If the three members whose appointments are on hold are not re-appointed, Harris said the group would have to hold another reorganization meeting after the new appointments join the group.

Harris announced to the group that a representative from MicroVote, the company that manufactures the voting machines used by the county, will be in attendance at the Election Commission’s meeting in May to discuss some new equipment available for purchase. The new equipment, according to Harris, is an electronic device that would allow poll workers at the precincts to look up a voter’s registration status if they do not show up in the precinct log book.