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Sheats-Hester replaces Shippy on Hall County Elections Board
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Gala Sheats-Hester, who works as the Fair Street International School bookkeeper, will replace Gabe Shippy on the Hall County Elections Board as a Democratic member.

Shippy said he submitted his resignation at the behest of the Hall County Democratic Party.

“The (party) saw fit that I focus my efforts and activism on recruitment of young people to the party,” Shippy said. “I was recently appointed to serve as the northeast regional director for the Young Democrats of Georgia, in addition to my duties as president of the Hall County Chapter of Young Democrats.”

Sheats-Hester joins longtime Democratic activist Kim Copeland, and member of the county’s previous incarnation of the elections board, on the five-person panel.

The Board of Elections and Registrations of Hall County, created by approval of the state legislature last year, removed supervision of the chief registrar from the Hall County Superior Court and into the hands of the county administrator.

The board consists of two Republicans and two Democrats appointed by the local parties, with each board member serving four-year terms.

Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee serves as the chairwoman.

Ken Cochran, the owner of Cochran’s Marine Service, who narrowly lost a race in 2014 for a Hall County Board of Commissioners seat, and Tommy Sandoval serve as the board's Republican members.

Shippy said the board has become inevitably politicized given the new make-up.

“It happened several times during my tenure, and I expect it to happen more in the years to come,” he said. “The bilingual ballot issue stands out as a prime example.”

Democratic and Republican members were split this year on whether Hall County should offer Spanish-language ballots at the polls.

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