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Confidence: Board of elections made the right call

Washington County Board of Elections members were put in a tight spot last week, as they learned of charges against director Tara Hupp, who allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars in her role as treasurer of the Marietta Tigers Booster Club. These charges came to light five days before a general election that is being watched with immense scrutiny.

But kudos to the rest of the board of elections, which sprung into action immediately to seek Hupp’s resignation, and hold an emergency meeting to replace her. Interim Director Mandy Amos, who had been an elections clerk, was sworn in by that afternoon; and the board is confident there will be no hiccups Tuesday as a result of Hupp’s departure.

“We have always anticipated the possibility that we could have illness among the deputy director and clerks,” said board chairman Dennis Sipe. “We have always made provisions for extra people during the early voting and election procedures so our early voting is going forward without difficulty.”

Washington County voters can be confident their board of elections was prepared, acted quickly and decisively, and is proceeding with an abundance of caution by going so far as to consult the auditor’s office about whether a review of the board’s own finances is in order. Though they have been assured there are no questions about board finances, members plan to consult the state auditor for confirmation.

With as many poorly constructed social media conspiracy theories as have been floated with questions about the integrity of the upcoming election, it is reassuring to know Washington County’s board of elections has done all it can to make sure the charges against Hupp do not contaminate the election process. (Though, as a side note, the Marietta Tigers Booster Club finds itself in a much different kind of tight spot.)

Elections board members are to be commended for their understanding and immediate action to maintain voter confidence.

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