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Rockingham County woman comes out of retirement to help with this year's election

The county now has two full-time staffers on for the 2020 election.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — As staffing falls short the workload continues to grow at the Rockingham County Board of Elections.

The director retired in March and the senior deputy director was fired at the end of September.

That left the board with one full time employee,  just weeks before the election.

Rockingham County native, Janet Odell has come out of retirement to help the board of elections solve a staffing issue.

This comes after Rockingham County candidates sent a letter to the state board of elections, asking them to take over.

“They couldn't get a director hired in time for this election to come up so they called me,” Odell said. “I had to think about it.”

Odell retired in 2012 as director of the Rockingham County election office.

She worked there for more than 30 years, and now she's busy working again.

“Making sure all the polling places and the one stop early voting sites are up to par and that they get started as scheduled,” Odell said.

For now, she's been in her interim role for two days and is expected to hold this position until the end of November.

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She's teaming up with the board chair and seven part time employees to get a grip on their workload.

"The board has gotten caught up on approving absentee by mail,” Odell said. “So we're processing as we go along and trying to keep our head above the water that's all we can do.”

Odell is asking that Rockingham County voters be patient if they're early voting.

She expects longer wait times because there won't be as many voting booths to ensure social distancing.