Kristi Royston

Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor Kristi Royston talks to county spokesman Joe Sorenson at the Gwinnett elections headquarters in Lawrenceville as ballots were counted from the 2020 general election in early November. Royston recently submitted her resignation to the county’s elections board, and announced plans to work for the company that handled Gwinnett’s absentee ballots in 2020.

Gwinnett County’s elections board will be looking for a new elections supervisor for the second time in less than two years.

The county’s current elections supervisor, Kristi Royston, recently submitted her letter of resignation to the Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections — nearly a year and a half after she was appointed to the job permanently after holding it on an interim basis.

Royston’s last day as Gwinnett’s elections supervisor will be March 17. The elections board is set to hold a special called meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the county’s elections office in Lawrenceville.

“Those who sat on the board when I was promoted are aware that I really didn’t want the job of elections supervisor,” she said in her resignation letter. “I went into the position because I felt that staff needed someone they trusted to work with them through 2020. I knew I needed someone I trusted too.

“None of us knew what 2020 was going to bring our way. There were some bumps along the way, but overall, we did a great job. We made improvements and strides of which we can all be proud.”

Royston told the board that she is going to work for New York-based Fort Orange Press, the company that printed Gwinnett’s absentee ballots last year.

The county used Fort Orange Press instead of an Arizona-based vendors much of the rest of the state was using to print and send out absentee ballots because Gwinnett is the only county in Georgia that is required by federal rules to provide elections materials in both English and Spanish. The state’s vendor did not make absentee ballot envelops large enough to fit instructions in both English and Spanish in a font size that was large enough to read, so that county contracted with Fort Orange Press instead.

Royston will serve as a customer satisfaction representative for Fort Orange Press’ clients in Georgia.

“I am both excited for this new opportunity as well as sad to leave Gwinnett County government,” Royston said in her resignation letter. “During my time here, I have learned so much and grown both professionally and personally. The county is very fortunate to have the voter registrations and elections staff that it does. They are an amazing group of people who accomplish amazing things.”

Royston was the elections division’s deputy director before she was appointed the interim director in July 2019, when former supervisor Lynn Ledford was moved to a special projects role in the county’s Department of Community Services.

Royston had been the deputy director under Ledford for about a decade prior to being named the interim director. She was named the permanent elections supervisor in September 2019, after a search that began in April of that year and lasted about five months.

Prior to her work for Gwinnett, Royston worked for the Secretary of State’s Office when Cathy Cox held that office, and later served as a clerk in Athens-Clarke County’s elections office and then as elections director for Barrow County.

“My work with Fort Orange Press will allow me to help elections administrators throughout the state by providing great products and allowing them opportunities to better manage their responsibilities,” Royston said. “I will also be supporting fair and secure elections to all voters in the counties who partner with us.”

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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