Search for new Registrar underway

Published 8:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2022

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Last May’s questioning of the county’s Voter Registrar’s spending habits by the Board of Supervisors continues to keep the electoral board looking into the office’s practices.

Newly appointed electoral board member Glenn Baker addressed the Board of Supervisors (BOS) during its Monday, Jan. 10 meeting, giving members an overview of what has taken place in the past month.

“The electoral board is currently accepting applications for a Registrar and plans to hold interviews on Jan. 18 with the goal of filling the position by Jan. 31,” Baker said.

Baker also said locks to access to the Registrar’s office had been changed, and all former employee access to records, computers, etc., had been removed.

According to Baker, the office is currently being managed by a Halifax County Voter Registrar Heather Harding in a new temporary location at 117 LeGrande Ave. Charlotte Court House.

The electoral board voted Dec. 22 to temporarily relocate the Registrar’s office following the resignation of Voter Registrar Eric Goode on Dec. 3.

Baker said the decision to relocate the office was made because of a filed complaint and motion to impanel a special grand jury.

“This is creating problems finding fill-in people willing to enter the premises and manage the daily operations of the office,” Baker said.

Issues with the Registrar’s office have continued to mount after the office’s spending habits were questioned by the BOS.

Electoral board member and secretary Dean Foster alleged Goode mismanaged the county registrar’s office, violated election laws and falsified his timesheets.

Goode, who has served as Registrar since the fall of 2020 following the retirement of Nan Lambert, took out a protective order against Foster on Nov. 8 after he said Foster followed him when he left his office on several occasions.

Following a show-cause court case between him and Foster, Goode resigned.

In his letter of resignation, Goode wrote that he was being forced out of a job and denied any wrongdoing while serving as voter registrar.

In addition, Goode asked that no legal action be brought against him.

Just a week after Goode’s resignation, five citizens from the Randolph and Saxe area filed a lawsuit naming Goode, the Board of Supervisors, and the Virginia Department of Elections as defendants.

The five citizens named in the complaint seeking a special grand jury are listed on court documents as George Toombs, Borys Dzyndra, Jeremiah DeMuth, Jane Winterson and Hugh Adams.

According to the 16-page court document, the No. 1 complaint made is that “there are known irregularities in the election that have led to Electoral Board Member Dean Foster withdrawing his certification of the 2021 election due to missing ballots and discrepancies in the absentee ballot counts and the accounting of those ballots.”

According to the suit, allegedly, when Goode was initially confronted with these absentee ballot problems, he gave the Chair of the Democrat Party what appeared to be false reports.

According to documents on Nov. 12, a judge ordered Goode to produce the absentee ballot information.

In addition, the suit claims that Goode made several trips to see the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors after being questioned about missing ballots. However, after an investigation, The Virginia Department of Elections deemed that complaint to be unfounded.

On Dec. 21, attorneys for both Goode and the BOS filed a motion to dismiss the case involving “The Five,” stating the case had no merit.