South Boston News & Record
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Election is swan song for county registrar Meeler
SoVaNow.com / October 17, 2013Halifax County Registrar Judy Meeler will oversee her final election this November as she looks forward to retiring on Jan. 1.
It will be the culmination of many such votes over the past 20 years. Meeler took over as registrar in 1984, succeeding Barbara Cage upon her retiement. Meeler says she’s seen a lot of change in two decades on the job — much of it involving new technology.
“We used to have to send in transmittal forms to the State Board of Elections showing all changes made in voter registrations — deaths, name changes, relocation” and other adjustments, she said. “They in turn would key the changes into their system and return the forms to use. Now all this is done with our computers.”
In 2004, Meeler said, the county began using the electronic voting machines — a big improvement, she feels, over the old paper ballots. “I just loved it,” she said, after her office had the opportunity to train for use of the new equipment.
“Those machines have made a big difference in the time it takes to get the results of the vote,” she said. “They made Election Day a much shorter day than back when we had to hand count each of the ballots.”
In the old days, the Courthouse would be packed on Election Night, with residents anxiously awaiting returns from each of the county’s 22 voting precincts. Sometimes the tabulations would take until nearly midnight. Now most returns are counted by 9 p.m.
Meeler said she is looking forward to retirement, although she is considering doing some part-time work in the department where she started out as a part-time employee before taking over the lead position.
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