Austin Rovenstine is the new member of the county’s election board after being appointed Thursday by Republican Central Committee Chair Mike Ragan.
Rovenstine, 36, is filling the role of the Republican Party representative to the board after the Sept. 22 death of Randy Girod. Girod served on the board for about the last 14 years.
The election board also includes Kosciusko County Clerk for the Circuit and Superior Courts Ann Torpy and Democratic Party representative Bill Morton.
In announcing Rovenstine’s appointment, Ragan said, “Having served on the Kosciusko County Election Board many years with distinction and dedication and a commitment to service to all the voters in our county, it is with great sadness that we have lost him (Girod) recently and he will be greatly missed.
“Due to the time restraints, we must not linger with the appointment of his replacement as the Republican member of the board. Fall elections are rapidly approaching. I am honored and I am sure Randy would be pleased to appoint C. Austin Rovenstine to this position.”
Ragan said Rovenstine has significant knowledge of the election process and he’s worked elections for many years.
“And as an attorney and with his elections background, he is qualified and ready to assume this position. I’m sure he will meet and likely exceed our expectations in this new assignment,” Ragan stated.
Rovenstine served as vice precinct committeeman for Harrison 1 beginning in 2012. In 2018, he started as precinct committeeman for Prairie 2. He’s been the Republican Party secretary since 2016, as well as acted as legal counsel for the party since then on various caucuses, appointments and issues with small towns. He has worked on the receiving team for elections for many years, having first been appointed to the receiving team by Girod with Ragan continuing to appoint him.
Torpy explained that the receiving team receives the election equipment and tally cards for the election machines to verify that they are all accounted for.
She also summarized the role of the election board by stating, “We work in a bipartisan manner to make sure that the elections are conducted securely and fairly for the county constituents and voters of our county.”
If there are provisional ballots on election day, the election board will have to review them and determine whether or not they were qualified to be cast.
The appointees to the election board remain in their positions until either they resign or their party chairperson decides to replace them. Rovenstine said Girod appointed himself to the election board when he was party chairman, which was in 2009.
Election equipment testing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday in the Justice Building basement.