The Chatham County Board of Elections has appointed an interim director while the county’s current director recovers from an illness and stroke at UNC Hospitals.
Deputy Director Pandora Paschal, who will serve in the absence of longtime elections director Dawn Stumpf, said the office is preparing to mail out absentee ballots next week and awaiting state approval of the county’s early voting schedule. The state Board of Elections and county have offered their support, she said.
“We’re going to continue to plan and conduct it and go through just like if she was here,” Paschal said.
Stumpf was admitted to UNC Hospitals in mid-August after developing meningitis caused by streptococcus pneumonia and had a stroke. She was in a coma until Thursday, Paschal said, when she woke up and was taken off a ventilator. Stumpf has moved from intensive care at UNC Hospitals to an intermediate unit, she said.
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“She’s breathing on her own, she’s mouthing words, she recognizes people,” Paschal said. “So that’s good news.”
The Board of Elections office has received numerous cards wishing her a speedy recovery, Paschal said, noting that Stumpf has played an important role outside the county, too, as the president of the North Carolina Association of Directors of Elections. Updates are being posted on Facebook at Prayers for Dawn, she said.
“She’s very well known,” Paschal said. “Everybody respects her and gives her the highest praise. She’s just a wonderful person.”