22 Questions in 2022: What will impact of the county’s new election board be?
Published 12:30 pm Sunday, February 27, 2022
The newly selected Troup County Board of Electors officially began their new roles on Jan. 1 following both local and national scrutiny of how the new process would affect local elections across the county.
In January 2021, The Troup County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution asking the state legislature to reform the county’s Board of Elections. The resolution was later adopted by the legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, cutting down the Troup Board of Elections to five members who were appointed by a majority vote of county commissioners.
The Troup County Board of Commissioners is majority Republican. At the time this decision was introduced and finalized, Commissioner Richard English, Jr. was the only Democrat on the board. English’s predecessor, Jimmy McCamey, is currently the only Democrat on the board.
The setup of the Board of Elections was to allow each city in Troup County (LaGrange, West Point and Hogansville) to appoint one member. The local Republican and Democratic Party chapters also appoint one member each. The other two members are appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
The new board of elections consists of five members who were appointed by a majority vote of county commissioners. The board previously consisted of seven members. Members of the current board are William “Bill” Stump, Eric Davenport, Dianne Davidson, James L. Thrailkill and Paulette Hall.
Troup County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Crews said that talks of modifying the county’s election board were ongoing several years prior and get legislators on board. Crews noted that, in the event that an election board member behaves in a way that could potentially lead to a lawsuit, regardless of who appointed the member, the county would be the party that would be sued.
“Our whole intent was if we’re ever going to be sued, and we’re going to be the ones who might be sued … then we wanted a say-so with who sits on that board,” Crews said. “I know a lot of people believe we’re trying to control the process, but what we were trying to find five board members that just focused on us having good, fair elections in Troup County. We tried to pick people that represented all of Troup County.”
Now, in the event that a selected elections board member behaves in a way deemed inappropriate for their position, the county has the right to step in to remove the board member, Crews said.
Crews noted that each of the board members are of diverse political affiliations. The board is currently made up of William “Bill” Stump, Paulett Hall, Eric Davenport, Dianne Davidson and James Thrailkill.