VALDOSTA – Darrion Ratliff, a 14-year-old intern at Lowndes County Elections, was recognized for being the youngest to receive Georgia election official certification in the state, elections officials said in a statement.

Deb Cox, Lowndes County supervisor of elections, said she tries “to hire the best and the brightest for the often difficult and complex tasks associated with elections.”

Ratliff is a sophomore at Lowndes High School with a 4.0 grade point average, and speaking to a crowd of more than 500 elections officials at the Jekyll Island Conference Center, said, “I actually have fun doing the job.”

Josh Black, supervisor of elections for Lanier County, was given the Phoenix Award for his outstanding work and monumental effort in “rising from the ashes.” 

Black took over the Lanier elections office after the entire staff and board were vacated and the office was locked for more than two months, elections officials said. 

Within the first year, he came in second in a state-wide county test of the new equipment, with 100% accuracy, and every state inspection was rated at 100%. 

"Voters are unanimously positive about the new office and the new professionalism and efficiency of the voting process," elections officials said.

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