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Board Appointee Who Couldn’t Be Found Says She’s Alive, Well

May 13, 1987

ROME, Ga. (AP) _ A woman who couldn’t be found after the Floyd County Commission appointed her to the elections board has notified officials she is alive and well and living in the wrong county.

Viola Sellers Drew, an assistant general counsel with the State Bar of Georgia, called the Floyd County Commission on Tuesday. The Atlanta resident identified herself as the Viola Sellers the commission mistakenly appointed to the Board of Elections and Registration in April.

Mrs. Drew was nominated for the Floyd County post by state Sen. Ed Hine, D- Rome, who said he believed a black should be appointed and thought hers was the name he had gotten from local black leaders. After she was appointed, county officials checked and found that Viola Sellers was not registered to vote the county, or even listed as a resident.

Mrs. Drew said she phoned the commission after friends told her they had heard news stories about the mixup.

″I thought it would be a good idea to call and to let them know I do exist, and they could quit looking for me,″ said Mrs. Drew.

″I just assumed someone gave Hine my name, not realizing that the appointee to the board also needed to be a resident of Floyd County,″ she said. Hine has said he didn’t know how the wrong name got on his letter of recommendation.

Viola Sellers became Viola Sellers Drew when she married almost three years ago.

She called the mixup ″kind of funny,″ adding, ″My husband has been teased at work about me perhaps living a double life.″

During its meeting Tuesday, the commission appointed Esther Vaughn, a black Rome resident, to serve on the elections board instead of Mrs. Drew. The commission also named a screening committee to interview future appointees in hopes of preventing a similar mixup.

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