Merritt to leave board of registrars, retirement ceremony Thursday

Published 1:53 am Wednesday, November 15, 2017

When Virginia Merritt joined the Covington County Board of Registrars almost a quarter century ago, the keepers of voting records didn’t even use computers.

“When I first started here, the job was much more difficult,” Merritt said, “It was all by hand, and we had to do a lot of verifying with addresses. There was a lot of research involved in the job.”

As a registrar, Merritt maintained the voter list, removing people who had passed away, moved, or become a felon. Merritt also registered new voters.

“My favorite part of my job here is socializing and meeting new people, seeing new faces,” Merritt said, “The public has been so appreciative to me,”’

The Florida native attended Walton County High School.

She has two sons, and spent the first few years of their lives as a stay at home mother. After her children went on to school, Merritt started working at Covington Industries as a seamstress.

From there she worked on and off, until she was about 60, when the Merritt family helped campaign for Fob James.

In 1993, then-Gov. James appointed her to the board of registrars.

Merritt attends Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Opp.

In her free time, she sews, gardens, and plays dominoes.

“I’m grateful for my opportunity to meet new people, and I know I can’t work forever. I’m sad to leave my co-workers, and I’m going to miss the routine of work,” Merritt said.

She plans to officially retire on Nov. 22.

A retirement ceremony and reception is planned for 3 p.m. this Thurs., Nov. 16, in the Commission Chambers.