By Jesse Wood
The Watauga County Board of Elections set the director’s duties for the incoming Elections Director Matthew Snyder at its May meeting on Wednesday.
Jane Ann Hodges, who has been the head of the local elections process for the past 30 years, is retiring at the end of June.
On Wednesday, Chair Luke Eggers and Sec. Bill Aceto voted for Snyder to have the same duties as it selected for Hodges in August of 2013. Democrat Kathleen Campbell abstained from the vote on Wednesday.
“It seems a bit punitive,” Campbell said, “but if that’s what you guys want to do…”
In August 2013, which was the first meeting with the current construction of the board, the stripping of Hodges’ directorial duties was among several controversial actions instantly voted for by the Republican majority of Eggers and Aceto.
For example, one of the new items outlined in the resolution, Duties of Director of Board of Elections:
“The director shall not become involved in discussion or debate of political or discretionary decisions of the board regarding the location or number of polling places or early voting sites and hours, except to the extent necessary to advise the board whether such location would be in violation of state or federal law or other administrative rule of the State Board of Elections.”
With Hodges’ experience running elections, many were critical of Eggers and Aceto squashing Hodges’ knowledge of polling places and early voting sites.
Now, it appears Snyder, the former Watauga County GOP chair with vastly less experience than Hodges, will operate under the same directorial duties.
Following the meeting, Campbell noted to members of the media these duties are noticeably different from those that are outlined on an Elections Director – 1150 form obtained from County Manager Deron Geouque.
See both below:
Elections Duties Outlined by Eggers, Aceto
Elections Director Duties form from County Manager