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Saturday January 16th, 2021 1:09PM

Election official quits; accused of bumping woman with car

By The Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A coastal Georgia elections board member twice censured by fellow board members has resigned.

Chatham County Board of Elections member Debbie Rauers announced her resignation Thursday, after she was accused of bumping an off-duty poll worker with her car at a Savannah polling place last Tuesday.

Chatham County Republican Party Chairman Don Hodges told the Savannah Morning News Rauers has been planning to resign since December. The party is reviewing applications from party members to replace Rauers on the board. Hodges said they're planning to name a new member in February. The replacement member will serve the remainder of Rauers' term through 2022.

“They have to be chosen from inside the party,” Hodges said. “We’re accepting resumes from people who have been active in the party to consider candidates."

The Chatham County Board of Elections is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, with the chairman named by the four board members.

A police report says a woman matching Rauers’ description tried to park her car in a spot that another woman was saving for a food truck. The truck and the parking space had been approved by the city.

The report says the driver of the sedan identified herself as an election official before she “angrily jerked her car forward,” bumping the other woman’s legs. The other woman was not injured.

Savannah police spokeswoman Bianca Johnson said Rauers' case “has been assigned to a detective and is still under investigation,” though no charges had been brought as of Monday.

Chairman Tom Mahoney said Rauers resigned citing a “change in culture at the board,” saying she could “no longer be effective as a member.”

Rauers was censured by the board twice since 2016, including in 2020, when the board concluded her behavior was “part of a pattern of interference with elections workers in the course of elections work.”

Earlier this year, she filed a complaint against Democratic County Commission candidate Tony Riley two weeks before the Nov. 3 election, which led to Riley being disqualified for a 1995 felony conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
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