Cherie Poucher, the longtime director of the Wake County of Board of Elections, announced her retirement from the post on Monday. She has run the county’s elections for 24 years, since 1991.
“We do it with integrity, and we do it, most importantly, with accuracy,” she told the Wake County Board of Commissioner at its regular meeting.
Poucher recently received the distinguished service award from the N.C. Association of Directors of Elections. She has been responsible for conducting all elections and tabulating all votes within the county, from local races to presidential battles.
Poucher planned to formally tell the elections board of her retirement Tuesday, she said. First, though, she wished good luck to the four Board of Commissioners members elected last year.
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“Running for the election is easier, I think you’ll find out,” she said.
Poucher has dealt with numerous changes in voting law and districts, the qualifications of such controversial figures as Debra Goldman and Clay Aiken, one-stop voting and same-day registration, voting fraud and rumors of voting fraud. She credited her success to her staff, and won parting praise from government officials.
“The population of Wake County more than doubled during Poucher’s exemplary service,” state elections Director Kim Westbrook Strach said in a statement. “She leaves behind a highly sophisticated elections operation that will continue to serve voters in Wake County. We wish her the very best in retirement.”
Said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman James West: “We appreciate you.”
To fill the vacancy, Wake County Attorney Scott Warren said, state law calls for a majority of the local board of elections to submit a name to the executive director of the state board of elections.
The state director will confirm the appointment within 10 days if there are no disqualifying characteristics. The person needs to know North Carolina procedures and laws, Warren said.
A person cannot serve as a director of elections if he or she holds any elective public office, is a candidate for any office in a primary or election; holds any office in a political party or committee, is a campaign or finance chairman or committee member for a candidate, has been convicted of a felony unless his rights of citizenship have been restored, has been removed by the State Board, or is “a member or a spouse, child, spouse of child, parent, sister, or brother of a member of the county board of elections by whom he would be employed.”