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High-profile elections officials leave posts after a tumultuous 2020

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.7%. 1 min read.

Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron talks to the media about the ballot count at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Election officials in Michigan and Pennsylvania who gained prominence during the 2020 election have lost their jobs, and a battle is raging over who will supervise elections in Georgia's largest county.

Indiana's Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the state's longest-serving elections chief, announced Monday her plans to resign, saying "2020 took a toll on me. " On Tuesday, the Fulton County, Georgia, elections board voted 3-2 to remove elections director Richard Barron from his post in the state's largest county, citing the need to modernize elections.

Potentially a quarter of local election officials in some of the country's largest jurisdictions are planning to retire before 2024, according to a survey of 857 officials in all 50 states by the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College.

Reed College political scientist Paul Manson said the election officials surveyed cited two reasons most often for their departures: They had "served their time" and "the political environment. "

At the county level in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, some 25 senior election officials have left their jobs in the last year, state officials told legislators at a recent hearing.

In voting Tuesday to remove Barron, board members cited the need to improve the administration of elections.

This week, Carter Jones, a nonpartisan monitor assigned to review Fulton County's operations, told the state elections board that he uncovered signs of "systemic disorganization" in the election office.

A county spokeswoman said Barron remains in his post for the time being, after the county's board of commissioners deadlocked by a 3-3 vote Wednesday on whether to ratify the elections board's decision.

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