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Board honors long-time elections official

John Hunt has seen his fair share of elections in 50 years of volunteering with the Surry County Board of Elections. Since 1972 he has worn a few hats from chief judge in the Shoals district, a one stop voting captain, and even helped with hand-to-eye audits after elections. More recently when he was burning five miles a day into the soles of his shoes working curbside voting in Mount Airy, according to Surry County elections head Michella Huff.

She said there are few like him who have heard the call to serve their community and still come back year to year to help facilitate one of the cornerstones of the American experience – free and open elections.

She said the pandemic did not, nay – could not, slow Hunt down from his work in helping people vote. He donned protective gear and went into medical facilities and nursing homes helping folks younger than himself, she noted, as part of the Multi Partisan Assistance Teams for folks who could not get to their polling place on election day.

“I started this because I heard some people say from time to time, ‘There’s no reason for me to vote, they have already decided who won.’ I wanted to know more about that and so I started at the precinct level. I have worked under four administrators in the office, and I have never found out who these people were who decided anything other than the voters of Surry County and I believe that is the way that it is still being done.”

“The thing that does sort of puzzle me a little bit, the people I used to hear complain about the vote counts were on the losing side. Now, all at once we have the people on the winning side complaining and I don’t really understand it — but it’s elections and that’s what they’re all about.”

Huff joked that Hunt’s father was not thrilled that he was volunteering for election duty because election days meant drinking and fighting, “He wasn’t sure he wanted his son to do that.”

She made sure he knew his service was appreciated and he was welcome to stick around, “Thanks for 50 years, here’s to another 50.”



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