PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Elections swore in the board members and chair for their two-year term at noon on Tuesday, July 18, at the Chatham County Board of Elections Office.
Chair Laura Heise (Democrat), Secretary Frank Dunphy (Republican) and member Mark Barroso (Democrat) have all served on previous terms while members Bob Tyson (Republican) and Erika Lindemann (Democrat) were sworn in for the first time.
“I am happy to join the county Board of Elections,” Tyson, who retired from a database consultant job six years ago, said. “I want to help provide accessible and secure elections for the people of Chatham County.”
N.C. House Rep. Robert Reives II (D-Chatham) was present at the ceremony, leading the five individuals in saying their oath.
In an email statement from Heise, she said she was first elected as a member of the board in 2007, and 10 years later was appointed as chair by the governor at the time. In 2021 and 2023 she was elected by Gov. Roy Cooper.
“Chatham is growing, and so is the elections office,” Heise said. “We anticipate a move to a larger elections office space, perhaps by December 2023. We will be welcoming new staff as well — an additional elections specialist and a machine tech position. Next year, a presidential election year, will be a busy one!”
The rest of the board members are nominated by their local party, Director Pandora Paschal said. Their names are then passed along to the respective state parties and their names are sent State Board of Elections for approval. Once approved, they are sworn in, Paschal said.
Lindemann said being on the board is a welcome privilege.
“By attending meetings of the Board over the past two years, I have come to appreciate the outstanding work of Board members, Elections Office staff, and election workers in planning, organizing, conducting and securing each election,” she said. “Their spirit of service to the public is commendable, and I want to do all that I can as support their essential work.”
Following the swearing-in ceremony, the board conducted their regular meeting where they appointed Dunphy as secretary of the board — His first term on the Board of Elections was in 2020.
“I am honored to be enabled to participate in this wonderful American experiment of participatory governance,” he said in an email statement.