Ripley County Election Deputy given state honor

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Marilyn Hunt was really surprised when she was recently named “Outstanding Election Deputy of the Year” at an awards ceremony held at the Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. The award is quite an honor as nominations were accepted from all 92 counties. Hunt received the award from Brad King, who is the director of the Indiana Election Division. Secretary of State, Todd Rokita, was also at the awards ceremony.

Hunt attended the Clerk’s Association conference with County Clerk Ginger Bradford. While Bradford had entered Hunt’s name for the award, she didn’t know who the recipient was either until her name was called. “I was so pleased,” noted Bradford, saying, “she (Hunt) knows her job. She is always willing to go above and beyond. She truly deserves the award for her outstanding job performance.”
Bradford said the job of Election Deputy is complex and Hunt has it “down pat.” “She doesn’t have to look it up - it’s in her head,” she laughed. But, Hunt does have a manual she refers to as the “bible.” She follows it religiously.

Hunt has been performing Election Deputy duties in Ripley County since 1990, having worked under three clerks, Bradford (twice), Mary Ann McCoy and Gerald Laswell.

She says the toughest part of her job is making sure the ballots are correct when they are sent to the printer. Being a perfectionist, she checks them and checks them again. She double checks signatures on ballots and does a lot of proofreading. She is responsible for running the office at election time.
The most interesting part of her job is the old records, according to Hunt. “They go back to the 1800’s and there’s so much history there,” she told The Versailles Republican.

Hunt just enjoys working with the public. She said she’s always glad to help solve a problem and loves to see government in action. “I just enjoy people,” she noted.

One of Hunt’s other accomplishments is that of raising a family. She has four grown children: son, Tom Gray, and three daughters: Traci Bauman, Terri Benning, and Toni Gray, and ten grandchildren, who she says “keep her busy.”

The Versailles resident says she appreciated being honored and while she wasn’t quite sure why she was chosen, Bradford was, “She’s a dedicated employee who truly deserves it.”

The Britts live in Versailles and own the Country Affair store, across from Ernie’s Pizza. Their daughter Sue now runs the store. Bert and Polly started the store to help pay for their medicine, according to nephew Harry. They have three children: Linda Alperin, a pediatric home health nurse in Canton, Ohio; Dan, who owns an advertising company in Hamilton, Ohio; and Carolyn Sue McNew, of Holton. The couple has eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and “one on the way”, said Polly proudly.

“I would like for everyone to know that no matter what the obstacles are while you’re married, it can be done,” concluded Bert.

Marilyn Hunt holds her award, a beautiful desk clock and pen holder, that she received at a state Clerk Association event recently in Indianapolis. The statewide award names her the Outstanding Election Deputy of the Year. She is standing outside the door she has gone through for the past 18 years on the second floor of the Ripley County Courthouse.