On Sept. 24 of this year, an era closed in Moore County. That was when longtime elections director Glenda Clendenin retired. She had been the elections director since 1986 and retired due to health concerns.
Raleigh must approve the final selection of an elections director. The state provides a template for the job, but the local board oversees the job search and recommends a candidate.
On Nov. 17, the elections board announced Towanna Dixon as the new Moore County Elections Director. She is currently the Hoke County Elections Director but will begin her new assignment on Jan. 3. Her annual salary will be $74,000.
Sandhills Sentinel recently sat down with Dixon for an interview. She is excited about coming to Moore County and has already started searching for a home here.
She expressed confidence that Moore County elections are accurate and represent the will of the people. She believes that voter fraud is a problem but not to the point that it would affect an election outcome. “There are many safeguards, and neither I nor any poll worker is willing to go to jail for an election,” Dixon said.
Information is the key to responding to those who are questioning if an election is accurate. There are audits performed before the election and after the election. That is why there is a gap between the election ending and the certified results being announced. After the audits and checks run at the local level, the state will also audit the outcome.
According to Dixon, the worry about voting machines being hacked is baseless. It is illegal for any voting machine to be connected to the internet.
When she starts, one of her priorities will be to talk to poll workers. “It is impossible to run an election without poll workers,” Dixon said. “One of the things I love about the south is the commitment to family.” Family is very important to her. She plans to make recruiting new poll workers a priority and build a sense of family with the elections staff.
Dixon considers Clendenin her mentor. “Whenever I had a question, I would call Glenda, and she would have the answer.” So even after retirement, Clendenin’s work will live on in Moore County.
Feature photo: Towanna Dixon will start her new position as Moore County Elections Director on Jan. 3. Contributed photograph.
~Article and video by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].