Victoria County's first elections administrator to retire

Karn Dhingra By Karn Dhingra

Jan. 3, 2017 at 10:21 p.m.
Updated Jan. 4, 2017 at 6 a.m.

George Matthews

George Matthews   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

Victoria County's first elections administrator will retire at the end of January.

George Matthews oversaw seven presidential and six gubernatorial elections, including primary and runoff elections.

At Monday's commissioners court meeting, Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller accepted George Matthews' resignation letter, which was dated Dec. 20.

"Well, I had been with the county for 31 years, 24 and half of which I had been elections administrator," said Matthews. "And I just thought it was a good time to go."

In many Texas counties, the tax assessor/collector and county clerk handle voter registration and elections and some have a single office, Matthews said.

Victoria County's elections administration office was created in 1992 by the Victoria County commissioners court at the recommendation of the Victoria chapter of the League of Women Voters, Matthews said.

The creation of the office made it easier to organize elections and voter registration, he said.

Moving forward, Zeller said the court will consider turning election administrator duties over to the county clerk's office and tax assessor or asking the Victoria County Elections Committee to appoint a new elections administrator.

The elections administrator position answers to the Victoria County elections committee, which is made up of the county judge, tax assessor/collector, county clerk and Victoria Democratic and Republican Party chairs.

According to the election code, the committee has the power to hire or fire the elections administrator.

The committee has not met in close to a decade, Zeller said.

Zeller or two other members would have to call for the committee to convene.

Meanwhile, Matthews said he will spend the rest of the month taking accrued vacation time and considering what he'll do during retirement. His last official day is Jan. 31

Matthews said he expects his involvement with Theatre Victoria, Victoria Symphony, Bach Festival and the hotel occupancy tax funds committee to keep him busy.

"It's a little unusual for an elections administrator to stay around as long as I did. Most of them move around," Matthews said. "But it was good job that I enjoyed very much and there's not a lot of jobs out there that can be compared to it."

For a video of the meeting, click here.


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