Jackson County Board of Elections chairman Eric Crawford has tendered his resignation.
In a Nov. 8 letter to Jackson County Superior Court Judge Joe Booth, Crawford said he would be moving out of the county. Board members are required to be county citizens.
Crawford said in his letter that the county's election office is among the best.
"The Elections Office is one of the best in the State, as evidenced by the other elections offices that come to Jackson for help. Jackson County’s citizens should be proud of the devotion shown to the county and the election process by Jennifer (Logan) and her staff; I consider it a great privilege to have worked with each during my term," he said.
Crawford also served as chairman during the unprecedented challenges of holding a major election during a pandemic.
"Running elections in a pandemic was a challenge," he said. "The unprecedented number of absentee ballots in the 2020 primaries and general election made counting and scanning burdensome. Implementing new voting machines with a printed paper trail was interesting. Dealing with the changes and fallout from the new election law, SB 202, was frustrating."
Crawford also served as chairman of the elections board during a difficult time of transition as the board went from a non-partisan group to a partisan board appointed by political parties. As chairman, Crawford was the only non-partisan member of the board.
But he expressed reservations about how the board had become political and encouraged the judge to appoint a non-partisan chairman to replace him.
"While I am fond of each of our current Board members, I am not as fond of the partisan format of the Board ..." he said. "While the majority of the Board’s decisions arc unanimous, as they should be, too often I was called on to be a tie-breaker on some issue that should not have been contentious.... Occasionally I felt that Board members were doing what was right for their political party but not what was right for every Jackson County voter. I know you will select my successor, and I hope you choose someone who is non-partisan or anti-partisan to be the Chair. What Jackson County needs is a chairperson who is looking out for the voter, not a political party."