NEW PHILADELPHIA — The Tuscarawas County Board of Elections will be looking for a new director with the resignation of Allan Sayre.
Sayre, who has held the position since September 2016, submitted his resignation the day after the May 7 primary election. He will be taking a job in the private sector.
His last day on the job will be June 7.
"My wife and I decided we were going to turn the page and do different things we want to," he said.
By resigning now, it will give his replacement a chance to get one general election under his or her belt before next year’s presidential election, he said.
Tom Hisrich, chairman of the board of elections, said Sayre did a good job.
"I would like to thank Allan and commend him for the time and attention he gave to the position," Hisrich said. "He came in and applied himself. He took a deep interest in our elections and worked very hard with Sarah (Deputy Director Sarah Kneuss) to bring our new voting system up to speed.
"He’s done a good job and I’m sorry to see him go."
The board of elections will be meeting next Tuesday to begin the process of hiring Sayre’s replacement. Hisrich said board members will likely set up a schedule for interested persons to submit a resume and a time for interviews with candidates.
According to Ohio law, the party that controls the Secretary of State’s office has the right to provide either the chairman of the county board or the director. Both positions cannot be held by the same party. The current Secretary of State is a Republican.
Since Hisrich is also a Republican, Sayre’s replacement must be a Democrat.
Sayre has a long career in public service. He served nearly three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 96th House District. He served as majority floor leader and chaired the Public Utilities Committee and was also vice chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He resigned from office in 2010 to take a job as chief deputy auditor for Tuscarawas County Auditor Larry Lindberg. Sayre held that job until he was named elections director.
Sayre said he enjoyed the challenge of running Tuscarawas County’s elections.
"It was very enjoyable," he said. "We had a lot of changes here with new voting machines, high-speed scanners and electronic poll books."
He praised his staff, especially their willingness to be cross-trained for different jobs.
"The staff was enjoyable to work with and open to cross-training," Sayre said.