The Sevier County Election Commission today appointed Ed Kuncitis as administrator of elections.
At a final meeting of the 2013-2015 Sevier County Election Commission on Thursday, April 16, 2015, members voted unanimously to appoint Ed Kuncits, who has been acting as interim administrator since February 2014 when Administrator Ronee Flynn took a leave of absence for health reasons, as the full time administrator of elections.
Commissioners present at the meeting were Republican members Chairman J.B. Matthews and John Huff; and Democrat members Michael Fitzgibbons and Tom Wagner. Commissioner Joe Newman was absent.
Flynn sent a letter of resignation to the commission in December 2014. The meeting today marked the first time the commission discussed her resignation and formally agreed there was a vacancy for administrator that must be filled. The commissioners agreed that Kuncitis had done a good job as interim administrator. Commissioner John Huff motioned to appoint Kuncitis as the full time administrator, J.B. Matthews seconding, and the motion passed unanimously when put to a vote.
Election office staff supported Kuncitis for the position.
Kuncitis previously held the administrator of elections position when Democrats controlled the General Assembly.
The Sevier County Election Commission is made up of five members appointed to a two-year term by the Tennessee Election Commission based upon recommendations from members of the General Assembly. The political party with majority in the General Assembly holds three seats and the minority only two. Republicans took control of the General Assembly in 2008 and with that the majority of seats on the local commission when it reorganized in 2009. At that time, the commission switched the positions of Flynn and Kuncitis, making Republican Flynn the administrator and Kuncitis the deputy administrator.
In a separate meeting this afternoon of the 2015-2017 Sevier County Election Commission, newly appointed commissioners met for the first time and elected their officers. Newman, Fitzgibbons and Wagner were chosen for another two-year term, while Huff and Matthews were replaced by Republican members Jack Ogle, of Wears Valley, and Ray Mull, of Seymour. Fitzgibbons was elected chairman in a 3-2 vote, and Ogle elected unanimously as secretary.
The new commission made the reappointment of Kuncitis as administrator of elections their first order of business. Ogle made the motion to appoint Kuncitis and Wagner seconded, with all commissioners then voting in favor of the action.
In preparation for the upcoming Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge municipal elections, commissioners locked, sealed and recorded each of the individual ballot boxes.
After the commission meeting, commissioners stayed to certify, lock, seal and record voting machines for use during the early voting period and on Election Day for each municipal election.