Pittman elected chairman of election commission

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The Cannon County Election Commission elected a new chairman when it met Monday, April 15, at the Election Office on Main St.

The former chairman, Matt Studd, was not named to the local commission by the State Election Commission when it made appointments earlier this month.

The State Election Commission notified Matt Teply, Cannon County of Administrator of Elections, of the five members appointed to the local commission in a letter dated April 1. They are:

• Dottie Jernigan Baskin, Republican

• Thomas W. Ganoe, Republican

• George Ronnie Orville Pittman, Republican

• Joan Banks-Shirley, Democrat

• Sue H. Patrick, Democrat

• Baskin is the only new member of the local commission.

During the meeting Monday, Pittman was elected as chairman by unanimous vote.

Banks-Shirkley was reappointed as secretary by unanimous vote.

The State Election Commission is composed of seven members: four from the political party holding a majority of seats in the Tennessee General Assembly and three from the minority party. These individuals are elected for a term of four years. This is the only commission in Tennessee state government which is elected wholly by the Tennessee General Assembly.

The seven members elected by the Tennessee General Assembly on February 14, 2019 to serve a four-year term include Donna Barrett, Murfreesboro; Judy Blackburn, Morristown; Greg Duckett, Memphis; Mike McDonald, Portland; Jimmy Wallace, Jackson; Tom Wheeler, Clinton; and Kent Younce, LaFollette.

Local commission members were appointed by Younce, a Republican and McDonald, a Democrat.

Barrett, whose company the Barrett Group was recently hired by Cannon County Government to look into finding new revenue sources or identify existing ones, also served as chairman of the Rutherford County Republican Party.

To be eligible to serve on the State Election Commission one must be at least 25 years old, a resident of Tennessee for at least seven years, and a resident of the grand division of the state from which one seeks election for at least four years preceding the election. No more than any two members may be from the same grand division of the state.

The State Election Commission is responsible for appointing five county election commissioners for every county in the state. This is done on the first Monday in April in every odd-numbered year. After making such appointments, the state commissioners then monitor the activities and performance of the county election commissioners and shall remove a county election commissioner for violation of the oath of office or if that person is no longer qualified to hold the position.

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