GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Elections has named Luke Burton its new director, who was sworn in Monday.
Burton replaces former director Becky Martin, who resigned Dec. 31, 2016. Martin worked for the board for 19 years, starting in 1997 as a clerk. She became deputy director in 2008 and assumed the directorship in 2009.
Burton, 24, is a more recent addition to the office, starting as the board’s elections administrator in July 2015. Prior to that, Burton worked for five years as a poll worker and seasonal elections administrator in Pike County.
He originally hails from Waverly, Ohio, in Pike County, having lived there his entire life before moving to Greenville in 2015.
Burton said his duties as elections administrator will be merged with his position as director.
“We won’t have a full-time IT person, which is what I was as elections administrator,” he said. “If we do need part-time help, it will be at my discretion.”
As elections administrator, Burton oversaw a number of technical upgrades to the election process in Darke County, including the addition of electronic pollbooks used to more quickly verify voters’ identification as they go to the polls.
As for the immediate future, Burton said his top priority is modernizing the office.
“We’re working on updating our office. A lot of things we do are very antiquated,” he explained. “We need to get all of our files digitized. We’re working on that.”
As well, Burton hopes technology upgrades will make the voting process less cumbersome.
“Voting machines, as everyone knows, they’re kind of hard to use and old. Keeping them together is a challenge. We’re hoping we’ll see some state funding in the next year or so to purchase new voting equipment,” he said.
Burton said he is very proud to be named to the position.
“Being director is obviously an important job, and at 24, and I can’t confirm this, but I believe I may be the youngest director in the state, which is humbling and says a lot about the board’s belief in the work I do. I don’t take that lightly,” he said.
In related election news, the Darke County Board of Elections announced that five candidates have filed petitions to run for three at-large Greenville City Council seats in the May 2 Primary/Special Election.
Sue House is running unopposed as a Democrat. Four Republicans will run in the primary, including council incumbents Doug Schmidt and Tracy Tryon. New Republican faces vying for a seat include Jeffrey D. Whittaker and Douglas I. Wright. A fifth Republican, Kelly Strick, filed to run but was not certified.
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