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Poll watcher ordered to be retrained

Morris News Service

ATLANTA - The State Election Board ordered Tuesday that a former Auburn poll watcher undergo training for illegally handling two absentee ballots during the Nov. 8 voting.

Sheila Drake, 70, submitted a written statement acknowledging taking the ballots from two friends, but said she didn't know it was illegal even after 20 years as a poll worker in New York and 10 years as a poll watcher.

"Two of my friends, who did not trust the city officials to accept their ballots, requests that I do so, as they knew I was going to be a poll watcher for the election," Drake wrote Jan. 3.

Poll watchers are volunteers on behalf of candidates who observe voting to make sure no rules are broken, but they have no official duties in carrying out the election.

State law requires that absentee ballots either be mailed or personally delivered to the local board of registrars.

Even though Drake has since moved to a retirement community in Winder, she was instructed to undergo training there and agree not to repeat the violation.