Election manager Melissa Morton has been appointed as the next Charlottesville voter registrar.

Morton, who has worked as an election manager and assistant registrar since at least 2016, received an offer for the position on June 12, according to Electoral Board minutes. She accepted the job on Tuesday.

Morton will serve a four-year term starting Monday, replacing Rosanna Bencoach, who is stepping down.

Morton’s current salary is $48,027. Her new salary was unclear on Tuesday; the position was advertised with a starting salary between $57,000 and $79,000.

The reason for Bencoach’s departure is unclear, but her decision to step down came about the same time that the Electoral Board decided it would seek applicants for the position and Bencoach would have needed to reapply for the job. Bencoach has declined to say if the board’s decision led to her departure.

Bencoach’s salary is $65,582.

Bencoach took over in early 2015 after the resignation of Sheri Iachetta. Iachetta and former Electoral Board member Stephanie Commander were charged with felony embezzlement for using taxpayer money to cover more than $7,000 in bills for city-issued cellphones for people who no longer held positions with the city.

Iachetta and Commander later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.

The Electoral Board has held several closed sessions since August to discuss personnel and openly talked about issues with elections and the office, according to meeting minutes.

In August, the board held a “prolonged discussion” on several issues, including “office morale,” the minutes say.

Following the November election, the board addressed several issues at its Nov. 19 meeting, including ballot printing, poll book deficiencies and absentee ballot reporting.

In this month’s Democratic primary, absentee ballots were not reported until 10 p.m., more than three hours after the polls closed.

In March, Electoral Board member Jim Nix emphasized that the board wants the next registrar to have more supervisory experience and previous work in Virginia.

Morton will be sworn in during a ceremony at City Hall at 10 a.m. Friday.

Join our Mailing List

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Send news tips to news@dailyprogress.com, call (434) 978-7264, tweet us @DailyProgress or send us a Facebook message here.

Recommended for you

Load comments