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State honors Caudill for work with Lincoln elections

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer
Former Lincoln County Board of Elections Director Judy Caudill was honored as the 2012 Outstanding Public Servant last Thursday at the Spectrum of Democracy Awards, presented by the N.C. Center for Voter Education in downtown Raleigh.

In March 2011, Caudill retired after 42 years of service to the people of Lincoln County, a tenure that prompted state Board of Elections Director Gary Bartlett to refer to her as “the matriarch” of North Carolina elections, noted a news release sent out by the center.

Caudill told the Times-News Tuesday that she was notified in January that she would be the recipient of the award through an email from Brent Laurenz, the N.C. Center for Voter Education’s director of outreach, followed by an email from Bartlett congratulating her and saying that he’d see her in Raleigh.

Current county Elections Director Bill C. Beam had called her and told her to check her email.

“I was shocked,” she said.

It’s Caudill’s understanding that Don Wright, general counsel to the state elections board, had submitted her name for the award, adding that she “had no clue” he had done so.

Caudill received the honor at Thursday’s dinner event, during which officials praised her years of service. She noted that there were roughly 200 to 300 people in attendance.

“For over four decades, Judy worked tirelessly to ensure that voters in Lincoln County could have confidence that their ballots were cast fairly and securely,” said Damon Circosta, executive director of the N.C. Center for Voter Education, during the banquet. “Lincoln County was profoundly fortunate to have Judy Caudill at the helm of its elections system.”

After receiving her award, Caudill said she was able to say a few words to the crowd. They also presented a video highlighting her many years of work and the changes that occurred during that time. The video segment was filmed locally in January and can be viewed online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxxP6RagcKc.

Caudill noted that the honor “means a great deal” to her, especially since she was singled out by the state elections board from among the 100 county elections directors across the state.

“They have worked just as hard — but probably not as long,” she added.

 

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