City of Richmond swears in new voter registrar

Keith G. Balmer was appointed as Richmond’s top election official.
Keith G. Balmer was appointed as Richmond’s top election official.(Mayor Levar Stoney - Twitter)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 8:40 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The City of Richmond swore in a newly-appointed voter registrar during a Monday ceremony.

Keith G. Balmer was appointed as Richmond’s top election official after the previous registrar, Kirk Showalter, was removed from the position.

Balmer was administered the oath of office by the city’s circuit court clerk, Edward Jewett, during a public ceremony on Monday. He will serve as the general registrar and the director of elections.

“There is no higher calling than protecting and safeguarding the right to vote. That’s why days like today have such a special meaning. Registrars must be guardians of our sacred right to vote,” Mayor Levar Stoney said in a tweet.

Balmer was formerly the Department of Elections’ general registrar’s liaison in Central Virginia, helping local offices and electoral boards access state resources. Richmond’s general registrar’s office handles campaign filings, city voter registrations and election coordination.

Balmer’s appointment comes after calls for Showalter’s resignation by local and state officials. Many said the Richmond office failed to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests and mishandled a COVID-19 outbreak within the city government.

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