The newly selected Troup County Board of Electors officially began their new roles Jan. 1 after both local and national review of how the new process would affect local elections across the county.
In January 2021, the Troup County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution asking the state legislature to reform the county board of elections. The resolution was later passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brian Kemp, reducing the Troop Elections Board to five members appointed by a majority vote of the county commissioners.
The Troup County Board of Commissioners is majority Republican. At the time this ruling was introduced and finalized, Commissioner Richard English, Jr. was the only Democrat on the board. English’s predecessor, Jimmy McCamey, is currently the only Democrat on the board.
The Board of Elections configuration was to allow each town in Troup County (LaGrange, West Point, and Hogansville) to nominate one member. Local Republican and Democratic Party chapters also appoint one member each. The other two members are appointed by the Council of Commissioners.
The new Board of Elections consists of five members who were appointed by a majority vote of the County Commissioners. The Board of Directors was previously made up of seven members. The current board members are William “Bill” Stump, Eric Davenport, Dianne Davidson, James L. Thrailkill and Paulette Hall.
Troup County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Crews said talks about changing the county’s electoral board had been underway several years prior and were mobilizing lawmakers. Crews noted that, in the event that an election committee member behaves in a way that could potentially lead to a lawsuit, regardless of the member’s name, the county would be the party that would be sued.
“Our intent was to find out if we should be sued, and we would be the ones who could be sued…so we wanted a say in who sits on that council,” Crews said. “I know a lot of people think we’re trying to control the process, but what we were trying to find was five board members who were just focused on having a good and fair election in Troup County. We tried to choose people who represented all of Troup County.
Now, in the event that a selected electoral board member behaves in a manner deemed inappropriate for their position, the county has the right to step in to remove the board member, Crews said.
Crews noted that each of the board members has varying political affiliations. The Board of Directors currently consists of William “Bill” Stump, Paulett Hall, Eric Davenport, Dianne Davidson and James Thrailkill.