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A tireless public servant steps down

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman — a Shelby County resident — will step down Aug. 1 after seven years in office.

That’s seven years that Chapman has worked hard to serve Alabama voters and residents in a variety of ways — in efforts to stop voter fraud, to implement electronic online business filings and to make it easier for military and overseas voters to vote while serving abroad.

Chapman also oversaw the largest presidential election in the state’s history, as well as Alabama’s first primary gubernatorial runoff and recount.

Overall, it’s been a productive seven years for Chapman — and that doesn’t even take into account the four previous years, when she was state auditor.

Chapman is moving on to take a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” one that will allow her to work in political and public relations consulting while spending more time with her two sons.

We thank Chapman for her tireless service, both to our state and our county. The right to vote is an essential one for each of us, and Chapman’s work has helped ensure everyone of voting age in Alabama can satisfy that right if he or she so chooses.

We also appreciate that Chapman will continue to serve Shelby County in various ways, especially through her role as a member of the University of Montevallo’s board of directors. Her expertise and connections throughout the state and country will no doubt greatly benefit the university.

It is truly a triumph that Chapman has done so much for the state while also having to do so much for her family. Her husband — the love of her life — passed away two years ago, and Chapman has worked hard to provide everything needed for her two sons. We admire her indomitable spirit and her sense of duty to her community.

When Managing Editor Katie McDowell spoke to Chapman for our story, she said, “I’m leaving this office in better shape than I found it … It’s a very, very good feeling.”

We agree. Thank you for your service, and we wish you the best moving forward.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.

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