Harry Lasser Named to Replace Nolan Turner on Election Commission

April 7, 2011
Dwayne Page
Harry Lasser

A new member has been named to the DeKalb County Election Commission by the Tennessee Election Commission.

Harry Lasser, a resident of Smithville and Cookeville attorney, is replacing Nolan Turner as one of the two democratic members of the local commission. Turner served for 32 years. He was first appointed in 1979 and is completing his sixteenth and final term.

Kenneth Moore, the other democrat on the commission, has been reappointed. Moore has served since 1980.

The other three members of the DeKalb County Election Commission, Walteen Parker, Barbara Vanatta, and Jim Dean, have also been reappointed by the Tennessee Election Commission. Vanatta and Dean are beginning their second terms. Parker has served since 1992. All three are republicans.

Lasser was born in New Jersey but his family moved to the Lancaster community in 1982. Lasser is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the UT College of Law. An attorney since 1996, Lasser has had his law office in Cookeville for the last ten years. Lasser is a member of the Smithville First United Methodist Church and a youth league soccer coach.

Lasser and his wife Claudette have three children including Elizabeth, a student at DeKalb County High School; Alex, a DeKalb Middle School student; and Nate, a student at Northside Elementary School.

"I am honored to have been appointed to the election commission," said Lasser. "I believe the commission's tasks are of the utmost importance. Nothing is more important to our democracy than to ensure fair and transparent elections. I undertake this task with seriousness of purpose," said Lasser.

As for the man he is succeeding on the commission, Lasser added "I respect the service of Mr. Turner. He should be commended for his service to the voters of DeKalb County," said Lasser.

The state election commission made these appointments on Monday April 4th. The term of each member is for two years.

Since the state legislature is made up of a majority of GOP lawmakers, Republicans have the right to hold majority memberships on the Tennessee Election Commission as well as all county election commissions in Tennessee. The appointments to local commissions are made by the state election commission.

Regarding the political division of county election commissions, state law states that " three members shall be members of the majority party and two members shall be members of the minority party".

"The members of the majority party on the state election commission shall appoint the persons who are required to be members of that party on county election commissions."

"The members of the minority party on the state election commission shall appoint the persons who are required to be members of that party on county election commissions."

"When members of another statewide political party are required to be appointed to a county election commission, they shall be nominated by the party's state primary board."

"Before appointing county election commissioners, the members of the state election commission shall consult with the members of the general assembly serving each of the counties as to the persons to be appointed to the county election commissions".

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Election Commission will hold its monthly meeting April 19 at 5 p.m. at the Election Commission Office in the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Items on the agenda include, but are not limited to, reorganization of the board as per state law and the appointment of an Administrator of Elections as per state law.

Anyone interested in applying for the position of administrator of elections should send a resume to: DeKalb County Election Commission, P.O. Box 543, Smithville, TN 37166 or hand-deliver a copy to the election commission office in Room 104 of the DeKalb County Courthouse by NOON Friday, April 15, 2011.

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