Three elections poll managers retire with combined 49 years of service
Left to right, Board of Elections member Jeanette Perry, Zelma Stewart, Johnnie Campbell, Bobby Savage and Board of Elections Chair Hugh Steele.
Three retiring poll managers were honored by the Newton County Board of Elections for a combined 49 years of service Wednesday morning.
Zelma Stewart, Bobby Savage and Johnnie Campbell were each given a plaque by Board of Elections Chair Hugh Steele and board member Jeanette Perry during a reception at the Newton County Administration Building.
“I thank you for your dedication and loyalty to us,” said Board of Elections Director Angela Mantle. “We appreciate everything you’ve done with us throughout the years at the board of elections.”
Savage served the Cedar Shoals Precinct for 19 years, Stewart the Town Precinct for 18 years and Campbell the Almon Precinct for 12 years.
“We certainly thank you for all you have done and we didn’t take it lightly that you stayed with us for that long because it is a journey and they are long days when you work the polls,” Perry said. “And we thank you so much.”
Savage began serving as a poll manager when Judge Henry Baker asked him to take over the Cedar Shoals location almost two decades ago.
“I said ‘Why do you want me to take over Cedar Shoals? I don’t know anything about elections,’” Savage said. “But I had one election and then Henry retired (from chairing the board of elections) and Hugh Steele came in. I had some good days and some bad days. I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the people who work here.”
Campbell was also asked to help out at the polls, and she started by serving as a clerk at the Almon Precinct. When Campbell’s daughter, who was poll manager, decided to step away from the position, the former Beaver Dam employee stepped up as the poll manager 12 years ago.
“I enjoyed it,” Campell said. “But it was hard to get up that early. When you’re retired, you get used to sleeping
Stewart started her time as a poll manager after she retired from teaching — a job she held for 30 years. Along with teaching, Stewart also volunteered at Newton Medical Center, and wanted to continue giving back to her community.
Savage, Campbell and Stewart were each thanked by the board for their service in a reception with light snacks and punch.
Bill Peruginio, the third member of Newton County’s Board of Elections could not attend due to health issues.