Long-time Johnson County Election Board member resigns

After 16 years on the county’s election board, a long-time member has announced his resignation.

Phil Barrow, the Republican Party’s representative, has resigned from Johnson County Election Board, county clerk Trena McLaughlin announced at the end of board’s regular meeting on Thursday. His resignation is effective June 1.

He decided to resign so he could spend more time in the South, where it is warmer. He will still be involved with other things, though not the board, he said.

“It’s just time,” Barrow said.

Barrow has been a member of the election board since 2007, and has served as chairman of the three-member board during his entire stint on the board. McLaughlin later thanked him for his work over the years.

“I truly appreciate all that you have done for not only myself as the clerk since I’ve been clerk, but for all the voters of Johnson County and the staff of the clerk’s office. We appreciate everything that you’ve done,” she said.

Barrow has enjoyed his time on the election board, and said its been his pleasure to serve with a great group of people. Sometimes he’s been asked about why he still serves on the board, and his answer has been he likes to be involved because he knows it’s being done right, he said.

“There’s probably not a county in the state of Indiana that has a better system than our clerk does,” Barrow said. “I appreciate that. We’ve always had good, honest safe voting, and it’s been a pleasure to be part of it.”

Kevin Service, the Democratic representative on the board, also thanked Barrow for his service. It’s been a pleasure working together, Service said.

“I’ve learned from you the two times I’ve been on here, and you’ve done a great job,” Service said.

Because Barrow’s position is a political party appointment, it is up to county GOP party leadership to make the appointment. The person appointed to the seat serves at the pleasure of the party, said Beth Boyce, county GOP chair.

The process for a replacement is simple, as the county party chair just has to send a notification to the clerk’s office when they’ve found and named a replacement, which Boyce has already done, she said. Barrow’s replacement, Doug Lechner, will be formally sworn in at the election board’s June 1 meeting.

Barrow has represented the GOP with honor and respect, Boyce said. She is thankful for his years of service, especially during election poll book issues in 2018, she said.

“Both parties in Johnson County have always worked really well together to make sure elections are safe and secure,” Boyce said. “I can’t thank Phil enough for playing such a vital role for so many years.”