Election Commissioner Sue Patrick, right, and Chairman Lindburgh Dennis, have differing views during Tuesday's special meeting of the Cannon County Election Commission. (TONY STINNETT photos)
Former Administrator of Elections Mary Lynn Bush was named interim AOE during an emergency meeting of the Cannon County Election Commission Tuesday (July 10).
Bush, who was not reappointed as AOE in favor of Stan Dobson in 2009, has nine years of experience in the Election Office and is certified as an administrator. The Election Commission voted 3-2 to terminate Dobson at its July meeting last week.
Jackie Gannon made the motion to name Bush as interim AOE. Sue Patrick seconded and the motion carried 4-1 with Gannon, Patrick, Louise Mayo and Lindergh Dennis voted in favor. Commissioner Matt Studd opposed.
Bush has a lawsuit pending against the Cannon County Election Commission for the manner in which she was not reappointed in 2009. The issue was brought to the attention of the commissioners.
Bush was in the audience and explained that her attorney said there would be nothing legal keeping her from serving as the interim AOE.
The position will be advertised and a permanent AOE will be hired following the August and November elections.
Studd had provided Deputy Administrator Dorinda Mankin's name for consideration for the interim AOE position, saying she was experienced, was currently in the office and was up to date on current laws. There was never a motion submitted in favor of Mankin.
Once the Election Commission appointed Bush as the interim AOE, Mankin told the commissioners she didn't believe they had given her an equal opportunity. She submitted her hours to Chairman Dennis, turned in her keys and left the meeting.
The meeting began with Dennis, the Election Commission Chairman, telling the group he wasn't sure the termination of Dobson was done properly and may not be legal. He asked the commission to reinstate Dobson for two weeks while another special meeting was properly advertised.
Dennis told the commissioners they would fire Dobson by the same 3-2 count at that meeting but at least proper protocol would be followed. Gannon strongly disagreed and after much discussion the motion to table the current meeting and reinstate Dobson failed 3-2 with Gannon, Mayo and Patrick voting against.