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Appointee To Floyd County Board May Not Exist

May 10, 1987

ROME, Ga. (AP) _ A woman appointed to the new Floyd County elections board at the recommendation of state Sen. Ed Hine may not be eligible. She may not even exist.

Hine acknowledges that in ″a comedy of errors,″ he recommended a candidate for the Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration who cannot be found.

Last month, in an effort to see that the three-member board included a black, Hine submitted the name of Viola Sellers to the County Commission, which appointed her to the elections board April 28.

But last week, the Rome News-Tribune reported that county officials, in trying to confirm that Ms. Sellers was a registered Floyd County voter and thus eligible to serve, could find no record of her.

In fact, County Clerk Sue Broome says, people have begun stopping her in public and asking if she’s ″heard from Viola yet.″

″So far as I know, she doesn’t exist,″ said County Commissioner Howard Smith. ″It was just one of those things that happened. We thought we had a system set up, and it just fell through the cracks. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just one of those things that happen.″

Hine, a Democrat from Rome, said an error in his office led him to use the wrong name in recommending a person to serve on the elections board. He had intended to recommend Ronnie Hudson, who was backed by the Rome branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, he said.

He said he was unsure where the name Viola Sellers came from.

Smith said the commission would discuss the matter Tuesday, and will probably declare the Sellers appointment invalid. The commission will try again for a black appointee, he said.

Floyd County’s new Board of Elections and Registration was created by the Georgia General Assembly last year, after a grand jury recommended changes in the county’s elections process.

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