Lori Wurtz has been named Hall County elections superintendent, taking over a position that’s been vacant since Charlotte Sosebee’s departure in November 2016.
Wurtz, who has served as supervisor of elections and voter registration in Jackson County for the past seven years, will begin her new role with the Hall County Elections Department on April 16. She has worked with Jackson County since 2008.
“Lori brings a wealth of knowledge to Hall County, and the Elections Board and I are committed to making sure the department experiences a smooth transition with her arrival,” Hall County Board of Elections Chairman Tom Smiley said in a county news release. “We look forward to working with Lori as the board moves our attention toward addressing broad policy issues.”
The county is currently studying the costs of providing Spanish-language ballots, with the results due in 2019. Two members of the board, Republican Ken Cochran and Democrat Michelle Sanchez Jones, are leading the committee studying the costs of bilingual ballot service in Hall County.
Cochran has been on the board for four years, and he said on Tuesday that replacing Sosebee was “something that needed to happen two years ago.”
Since Sosebee left to take the same role in Athens-Clarke County after the 2016 presidential election, the county re-evaluated the Hall Elections Department’s structure before hiring Wurtz.
In that time, the elections office has been overseen by Bill Moats, the county’s human resources director, and the day-to-day operations have been handled by registration coordinator Terenda Sargent and elections coordinator Paige Nix.
“I am passionate about the election process, and I look forward to serving the people who live and vote in Hall County,” Wurtz said in the news release. She could not be reached on Tuesday.
Sosebee was being paid $77,254 when she left the county. Wurtz has been hired at $65,000, according to Moats.
This will be a busy election year for Hall County, with contested races for the governor’s mansion, state Senate and House seats, Hall County Board of Commissioners, Hall County Board of Education and judicial elections. There’s also a contested race for the Georgia 9th District seat in the U.S. House.
The state primary is set for May 22.
Times Daily News Editor Clark Leonard contributed to this report.