Governor appoints Osborne to state board of elections

March 26, 2019 | 3:26 am

Updated March 25, 2019 | 11:00 pm

Former Daviess County Clerk David “Oz” Osborne says retirement has been like “riding a gravy train with four biscuit wheels.” | Photo by AP Imagery

Former Daviess County Clerk David “Oz” Osborne says retirement has been like “riding a gravy train with four biscuit wheels.” The 12-year county clerk and former Daviess County Sheriff chief deputy only enjoyed retirement for a few months before deciding to return to the workplace. But after serving Daviess County for 40 years, Osborne will now focus his efforts at the state level.

Osborne accepted an appointment from Gov. Matt Bevin to sit on the state board of elections. The appointment comes on the heels of House Bill 114 passing the legislature and moving to the governor’s desk last week.

HB 114 strips the Kentucky secretary of state of any voting rights on the board of elections and makes it a misdemeanor to misuse voter registration information. The bill was filed after an investigation by ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit news source, and the Lexington Herald-Leader found Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes used the voter registration database as a search tool for prominent officials and potential political rivals.

The bill also calls for two voting seats on the board from retired county clerks. The Kentucky County Clerk’s Association submitted Osborne’s name and he was chosen, along with former Meade County Clerk Katrina Fitzgerald.

“I was pretty surprised to say the least, but honored,” Osborne said.

Osborne believed HB 114 to be a good bill.

“Clerks certainly need to be on the state board of elections,” Osborne said. “I am certainly not the most qualified. But I can be a sounding board and an ear to the clerks across the state. I knew I could do that.”

Because this is the first time clerks have had a seat on the state board of elections, Osborne said it’s unclear of his exact role. And he wasn’t sure he could accept the appointment until he checked with the state retirement system. He said he has not officially received approval, but has been told his new job will not conflict with his retirement.

“I have never served on the state level,” Osborne said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and being in contact with clerks, my friends, across the state.”

Osborne is expected to be sworn in at the next state board of elections meeting on April 15. He will be required to meet monthly in Frankfort.

March 26, 2019 | 3:26 am

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