051519_elections

The Glynn County Board of Elections voted to approve Chris Channell to fill the board’s supervisor position.

Members of the Glynn County Board of Elections applauded after unanimously approving a motion to hire Assistant Elections and Registrations Supervisor Chris Channell as the board’s new supervisor at a meeting held Thursday afternoon.

“This is a whole new day for us,” Chairman Patricia Gibson said at the meeting. “We’re moving forward.”

The board announced Channell as the lone candidate for the new supervisor position earlier in May and was required by law to wait 14 days before voting, to allow for members of the public to offer comments.

The meeting to appoint Channell to the vacant supervisor position lasted only about seven minutes.

Gibson noted that the new supervisor position would be based on a contract, rather than it being an at-will employment as it had been previously. She explained that this was a long discussed decision and that the members of the board believed it would be better for the position to be contract-based going forward.

Aside from two clarifying questions about the new supervisor’s salary and the candidate’s evaluation process, no board members offered any objections to the motion to hire Channell.

Channell had been serving as the interim supervisor since his predecessor Monica Couch was fired by the board in December.

With an extensive background in local government and elected positions in other states like Kansas, Channell appeared grateful and eager to accept the supervisor position.

“I’m just real excited to be able to have this opportunity,” said Channell after the meeting. “It’s been great learning the job, and I really look forward to moving things forward over the next couple of years.”

The first major test for Channell in his new supervisor role will be the municipal elections at the end of this year, which he said will prepare him for the larger national contests next year.

“We’ll hit the ground running after this year when we’ll have the presidential preference primaries and the general,” Channell said. “We’ll also have the new voting machines next year, so we hope the state decides on that quickly and we can start learning that system.”

Last month, Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 316, which replaces Georgia’s current voting machines with both touchscreen and paper ballots. Channell has previously expressed concern about how much of the new system’s cost will fall to the county versus how much the state will cover.

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