Her face has been the constant one people have seen at the Floyd County elections office for more than two decades.
Pending a final approval from the Floyd County Commission, Vanessa Waddell will soon drop the “interim” from her elections chief title. She was recommended for the post by the elections board on Tuesday with one other item remaining, salary negotiations, says board chair Dr. Melanie Conrad. Board members previously voted to increase the pay for the next chief elections clerk.
Serving as a deputy to Evon Billups, Dr. Willie Green and then Robert Brady, Waddell remained as the steady hand in the cramped offices off First Street in the county administration building throughout the changes. She endured perhaps the toughest election year on record with new voting machines, the COVID outbreak, delayed primaries, countless challenges, intense review from the Secretary of State’s office as well as screaming national headlines, the death of longtime coworker Donna Maldonado on election day, Nov. 3, and finally the ouster of her third boss in five years soon after that.
In May 2017, Waddell was recognized with a 20-year certificate of attendance from the University of Georgia’s prestigious Carl Vinson Institute of Government in Athens. Said then-Elections Board Chairman Steve Miller: “This commitment from Ms. Waddell to attend these annual meetings on such a consistent basis is indicative of her willingness to stay informed of the election responsibilities and regulations pertinent to her position, for the benefit of the Floyd County Elections office, as well as the electorate of our community.”
She was presented with the certificate at the Georgia Election Officials Association 32nd Annual Conference held in Savannah.