KINGSPORT — Sullivan County Elections Administrator Jason Booher mentioned Monday there was a variety of “misinformation and a variety of simply flat-out lies” concerning the 2020 elections, primarily pushed social media.
“For those who appeared throughout the nation the place there was bother with elections, or what was perceived to be bother with elections, it was probably not the tools, it comes right down to the folks,” he advised a Republicans of Kingsport luncheon.
As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Sullivan County Election Workplace decided final 12 months to ban direct interplay with the general public.
“Please think about e-mail and phone as the first strategies of contacting the election workplace,” the workplace’s web site learn.
“It’s my hope we’ll get again to public contact,” Booher, a former Sullivan County Republican Get together chair, mentioned. “(2020) was an unbelievable problem. When the pandemic hit, I assumed, How on this planet am I going to do that?”
Voters made the distinction.
In 2016, there have been 63,449 common election voters whereas in 2020, there have been 74,946 common voters, Booher famous.
“Everyone predicted we’d see a dismal turnout,” Booher mentioned. The -mail vote noticed greater than a 3,500-vote improve over 2016.
As a former collegiate soccer referee, Booher mentioned one of many methods his crew knew they’d officiated a great sport was once they left the sphere with out anyone saying something.
“I took that very same normal to me once I grew to become administrator of elections. After we’re not talked about, I really feel we’ve performed a great job,” Booher identified. “We would like correct, honest and trustworthy elections that exceed expectations. One of many issues we’ve to do is disagree with out being unpleasant.
“In elections, the tools does matter however the folks matter extra.”
Of the 240 election officers within the county, Booher mentioned 60% are over the age of 60 and 25% are over 70.
He additionally gave a shoutout to Kingsport’s response to the pandemic.
“Bristol and Bluff Metropolis selected to maneuver their election dates. Kingsport stays the one metropolis to carry its metropolis elections,” Booher concluded.