ASHLAND — The Ashland County Board of Elections unanimously appointed Amanda Jones to be its director on Monday during its biannual reorganization meeting.
Jones, 37, of Mifflin Township, served as the BOE’s deputy director for the last two years. She previously worked in the county office as clerk, and before that, as a volunteer poll worker.
“My grandma was a poll worker. When she couldn’t sit any longer, she got me into it,” Jones said.
She started volunteering in 2008 and then became more and more involved with the office. She was hired as clerk in 2018 and appointed deputy clerk in 2020.
“Considering the difficulties of conducting elections during COVID-19, I would say Amanda has been baptized by fire,” said Andrew Keller, former chair of the board. Paula Watson now serves as chair. “She truly has emerged as an outstanding leader, calm under pressure and always polite and reliable.”
State law requires boards of elections to appoint directors and deputy directors of opposite political parties. The chair of the board of elections must also be registered as the opposite party of a director.
Jones is a registered Republican. Watson is a registered Democrat.
“That’s to keep everything balanced and fair,” said Shannon Johnson, the former director who will now serve as deputy director. “(Jones) proved, while I was out of the office in 2020 for a family medical emergency, that she could handle a presidential election.
"So I have all the confidence in the world that we can continue to provide smooth elections with her at the helm.”
Jones said she has learned a lot from Johnson and her predecessor Kathy Howman, who retired in 2020.
“The public has a lot of faith in our office,” Jones said. “I want to continue that — having fair elections, being open with the public on how we conduct things here. I want the public to know that it’s a bipartisan office. We’ll continue to conduct ourselves in that manner.”