LIVINGSTON COUNTY — After past miscues from the Board of Elections, the County Board of Supervisors has sent a clear message that they are going to cross party lines to clean it up by not reappointing the Democratic Election Commissioner, Laura Schoonover, for another four-year term.
The Board of Elections has faced historic levels of criticism after redistricting issues, voters voting on wrong party lines, and alleged miscounts on absentee ballots. The Board of Supervisors’ refusal to reappoint Schoonover sends an unmistakable message to party leaders.
“The Board of Supervisors are all about serving Livingston County Residents,” said Eric Gott, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “When there is a change that needs to be made, we make it together, all 17 of us. ”
County Democrats, however, do not consider the decision a “necessary change” at all, saying that it is a massive shift in party infrastructure.
“This leadership seems willing to throw a grenade at our party, ” said Judith Hunter, Livingston County Democrat Committee Chair. “As a matter of both custom and comity, the Board traditionally accepts the choices of the county committees to run the Board of Elections. It is disappointing to say the least that the current Board has decided to abandon that tradition and reject our Commissioner.
Nancy Leven, the Republican Commissioner of the Board of Elections, is not up for reappointment for two years. Republican Committee Chair, Lowell Conrad, who has been involved in Livingston County politics since 1968, says that he has never seen this type of move before.
“I’ve never seen any move like this in my time,” said Conrad. “Two years from now we will take a look at things on the Republican side.”
According to Hunter, the Democrats have had zero issues on their elections, and the issues and the past drama have been in the Republican eParty and their Committee voted unanimously in support of Schoonover.
Schoonover’s term end s at the end of the year, and the Democrats will go back to the committee for a recommendation for the new appointment on November 8.
David DiPasquale, who is the Democratic Deputy Commsssioner is clearly one of the potential replacements.
“This does some real damage that the board is designed to maintain.” said Hunter. “This adds a degree of politics to a very personal level.
PHOTO CAPTION: Laura Schoonover counting ballots during a past election. (Photo/ Josh Williams)