Once it came to light that there was no official agent to certify elections, the Candler County Board of Elections and Voter Registration held a called meeting on Wednesday, July 6, to appoint Kellie Lank, Candler County clerk, as election superintendent.

Before being hired as county clerk, Lank served as clerk of the Board of Elections and was certified during her tenure there.

As election superintendent, Lank will oversee the July 26 run-off between Clerk of Court candidates Jenny Grimes and Jan Kangeter.

After she was unanimously appointed election superintendent, Lank announced that Victor Fordham would continue in his current capacity as election supervisor.

In the meantime, the board agreed that Fordham needs to complete the final portion of his certification as quickly as possible and also agreed that Board of Elections and Voter Registration Clerk Dee Dee Clark should begin training for her certification.

The lack of certifying agent for Candler County first came to light recently when Clark was contacted by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, which was questioning certification of local personnel. 

Board of Elections Chair Mary Simmons then contacted county attorney Kendall Gross to determine what steps needed to be taken. The decision on Wednesday was the result of the Secretary of State office recommendations.

The board is comprised of long-time member Theresa Gay, the Republican Party appointee; Angela Carlyle, the newly-named Democratic Party appointee; and chair Mary Simmons, the at-large appointee, who was named by county commissioners earlier this year.

The county’s election board is structured so that the board itself serves as the election superintendent and employs an election supervisor. For now, however, Lank will be the superintendent.

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