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Proctorville woman to serve on board of elections

Republican Central Committee Chair Harriet Scragg is her party’s nominee to fill the latest vacancy on the county’s board of elections.

That vacancy occurred when Freddie Hayes was appointed to the county commission earlier this month. Hayes took the commission seat held by Paul Herrell, who died in February. Scragg of Proctorville was vying for the nomination opposite Wayne Taylor of Aid.

Scragg was nominated Tuesday night in a vote of 29 to 14. There are 78 central committee members.

Also during the meeting, the central committee chose to vote again on the Hayes’ appointment to the commission because it had originally been done via secret ballot.

However, a recent Ohio Attorney General opinion said that central committees are public bodies that must come under the “Sunshine Law”.

Thus a secret ballot would not be valid.

“That is an advisory opinion,” County Assistant Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said last week. “But out of an abundance of caution, we are going to redo the vote.”

The county GOP committee has always conducted business with a secret ballot.

Hayes was originally appointed in a vote of 43 to 25 opposite Ohio University Southern professor David Lucas.

Only 43 central committeemen showed up at Tuesday’s meeting in part because of the change in voting procedure, according to county Republican Party chief, Ray Dutey.

“It was on account that they would have to vote in public,” Dutey said. “I believe that. One member got up and said when you vote for your officeholders and president, that is all in secret.”

However, when it came time to vote for the BOE post, the committee unanimously agreed to have a secret ballot. This was allowed because the central committee only makes a recommendation to the BOE. The Ohio Secretary of State makes the actual appointment.

“What makes the central committee a public body is when we make a direct appointment such as a commission appointment, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code,” Anderson said. “Unlike the board of elections where it is a recommendation.”

Scragg campaigned on her almost 50 years of experience in the county’s political arena including acting as the grass root campaign manager for former state Rep. John Carey.

“I think she will do a good job,” Dutey said. “She has worked for John Carey’s campaign for many years and has been in politics. She knows the workings of the election process.”