Tuesday morning, Carroll County’s election commissioners — including newest commissioner Jennifer Haley — were sworn in by Chancellor Kiley Kirk in Carrollton. For the first time, in 31 years, Ed Corder wasn’t sworn in for the coming term.
Corder, one of Carroll County’s longest serving election commissioners, retired in 2020, working his last election cycle during the Presidential election in November. His last cycle proved to be the most challenging of his tenure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carroll County Circuit Clerk Durward Stanton, along with the election commissioners, supervisors and family members celebrated Corder’s retirement Tuesday at the courthouse in Vaiden. Corder smiled as a slideshow of pictures depicting his 31 years of service as Beat 2 Election Commissioner played, including pictures of his wife, Ann, and his daughters.
Corder credits Honey Ashmore for his first run for election commissioner. After serving in summer camp with the National Guard, Honey Ashmore told him that he was going to be an election commissioner when he returned home.
“He had all the paperwork ready for me,” Corder said.
Corder said he remained in that role through eight terms because he enjoyed the people he worked with.
“I’ve got to meet a lot of people, a lot of people. And there’s never been a person I couldn’t work with,” he said. “We had our ups and downs, but there was never anyone that I couldn’t work with.”
The slideshow showed moments of his childhood, his family and his service to the county.
“I wish Honey was here to see this,” Stanton told Corder.
“I wish he was, too. He’s the one that got me into this mess,” Corder said. “I’m serious, too.”
During the reception, Corder spoke fondly of Ashmore.
“He was one of the greats and a good money manager,” he said.
“No argument there,” Supervisor Rickie Corley said.
If not for Ashmore’s persistence – something he was known for – Corder said he wouldn’t have had such a long-standing career as election commissioner. Corder listened as several in attendance spoke fondly of his work and dedication.
“You hear of many problems that others have, but we’ve never had that here in Carroll County, and I think it’s all because of you. And, we appreciate that,” Supervisor Claude Fluker said.
Other election commissioners credited Corder with the effectiveness and efficiency operations of elections in Carroll County. While Corder said he’s seen elections change over the years, fellow commissioners said he has been the person who helped keep things on track.
“They used to have a poll book, a ballot and a pencil. Counting went well into the next day. Then, we went to scanners and those were efficient, cut down time on counting. Then, we went to the computers and that really cut down on counting,” he said.
“They didn’t have as many regulations as they have now either,” Corder said. “Every time we had a meeting we would learn something new. Still do.”
Throughout his career as an election commissioner, Corder said he’s gained friendships with other commissioners and it’s something that he’ll take with him.
“I’ve enjoyed working with people over the years. It’s been a great experience and I wouldn’t trade anything for it,” he said.