A vacant seat on the Genesee County Board of Canvassers has been filled following a mishap certifying the county's 2021 election.

"He's an assistant pastor at a Grand Blanc Church. His name is Eric Stewart,” Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said. “There was a great deal of recklessness and neglect, that last appointment, Donielle Quinn.”

Gleason pointed out an oversight by the county's commissioners. They were previously responsible for the new Republican appointment.

Quinn resigned after realizing she could not be on the board while also on the Mt. Morris school board. This opened up one Republican seat on the board comprised of two Democrats and two Republicans.

"The commissioners, all they had to do was pull out the handbook and read the first paragraph of the handbook for a canvasser, and it says that you can't hold an elected office,” Gleason said.

The appointment responsibility now falls on Gleason.

"I don't want to do someone else's job, but the parties, they have to do their due diligence,” Gleason said. “When I'm in charge, we're going to do our vetting and we're going to make sure someone is qualified for that position."

Gleason blames the Republican party. He suggests the party didn't re-appoint Michelle Voorheis because she certified last year's election. She filled the Republican seat before Quinn.

"They literally punished her,” Gleason said. “She wanted to be back. She fought. She wanted this appointment, she wanted the first appointment. Matt Smith and the Republicans that are out there, they're responsible for acting like hooligans about the election process itself."

Gleason said he believes his new appointment will restore integrity in future elections.

Copyright 2021 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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