- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—SNOW HILL — Jane Monroe has put in her time at the Greene County Board of Elections.

She’s been heading up the department for 31 years and will be retiring Friday.

Board of Elections Chairman Trey Cash, deputy director of Emergency Services, described Monroe as “competent,” “professional” and a “supportive” leader.

“The Board of Elections is grateful for Jane’s leadership and her many accomplishments as director of elections,” he said. “Jane set forth a strong vision of a responsive and accountable elections, based on the principles of impartially, nonpartisanship, integrity, fiscal responsibility, and efficiency.”

“Jane has delivered on this vision and has worked tirelessly to meet and even exceed the Board of Elections’ high expectations for this critical position. We are going to greatly miss Jane’s knowledge, skill, and most importantly her work ethic.”

Commissioner Bennie Heath said, “She’s always been very professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Starting as supervisor in April 1984 in the basement of the Greene County Courthouse, Monroe ran the office by herself three days a week.

Later, the N.C. General Assembly changed the title to director of elections, which she’s been ever since.

In 1994, the elections office moved to a larger office in the building next to the courthouse, and today she has one assistant and both work five days a week.

In those early days, there was one typewriter, one adding machine and paper ballots that were hand-counted at each precinct, usually until at least midnight.

“Depending on the election and how many ballots,” Monroe said, “… I have been here until 3 in the morning.”

Though the technology has changed, her role remains the same — processing voter registrations, handling campaign reporting, auditing reports, training poll workers, preparing for elections and always staying busy.

The office went from paper ballots to tabulators to touch screens and now optical scans since 2006.

Monroe said she enjoys the election process.

“Presidential years are always bigger turnouts,” she said.

Her first year on the job was the 50th quadrennial presidential election held Nov. 6 between then-incumbent Ronald Reagan and former vice president Walter Mondale.

Monroe, the daughter of the late Floyd and Stella Casey of Lenoir County, grew up around Kinston. She graduated from South Lenoir High School in 1971 and earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in business in 1973.

She married Al Monroe of Greene County a year later.

She worked her first job for 10 years as secretary for a Kinston law firm, and an opening came available at the Greene County Elections office.

“It sounded interesting,” she said about taking the elections job, “and my oldest child had started to school here in Greene County.”

She trained under former supervisor Sybil Thomas for about three months before embarking on the job alone.

Even then, the infamous chalkboard displayed the ballot numbers in front of the courthouse steps by local residents. One recent year it was not there and many residents showed up to see the numbers on election night and expressed disappointment. It hasn’t been missing since.

Monroe’s goal now is to enjoy her family and “not have to plan around election schedules,” she said with a laugh.

She and Al reside in Snow Hill and have two grown children, Jack and David.

Margaret Fisher can be reached at 252-559-1082 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MargaretFishr.


(c)2015 The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.)

Visit The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.) at www.kinston.com

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