Waffle House VP appointed chairman of Georgia Election Board

Kemp picks John Fervier to lead election board
Waffle House Vice President of risk management John Fervier, center, asks Nicole Borden, left, to walk off the Waffle House corporate campus headquarters during a protest in Norcross, Monday, April 30, 2018. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Waffle House Vice President of risk management John Fervier, center, asks Nicole Borden, left, to walk off the Waffle House corporate campus headquarters during a protest in Norcross, Monday, April 30, 2018. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

John Fervier, a longtime Waffle House vice president, will take over the high-pressure job of leading the State Election Board ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Fervier on Friday to the board, which oversees investigations of election fraud and irregularities.

Since the 2020 election, the State Election Board has repeatedly dismissed cases alleging fraud, including allegations of illegal ballot collection and ballots being cast by dead voters and ineligible voters. The board also declined to take over Fulton County’s elections management but found the county made human errors during an audit that hand-counted ballots from the presidential election.

Fervier, who lives in Norcross, doesn’t appear to have prior experience in elections. He currently works as vice president of risk management and security for Waffle House, and he serves as chairman of the board for the Georgia Subsequent Injury Trust Fund, which deals with workers’ compensation issues.

“His dedication to the well-being of Georgia and its people will be a great asset in this role in the days ahead,” Kemp said. “I am confident that under his leadership, Georgians will be able to trust in the integrity of one of our great responsibilities as citizens — the right to vote.”

Fervier replaces Bill Duffey, a retired federal judge who stepped down as chairman in September. The board’s acting chairman, Matt Mashburn, is also leaving the board because the Republican-controlled state Senate plans to appoint a different member in the coming weeks.

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

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Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Fervier couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday.

His appointment is subject to approval by the Georgia General Assembly during the annual legislative session that begins Monday.

Under state law, the governor can appoint a chair when lawmakers aren’t working at the Capitol, but they gain the power to choose a chair during the legislative session. It’s unclear whether legislators will endorse Fervier or nominate someone else.

The five-member board will include four Republicans, appointed by the Senate, the House, the Republican Party and Kemp. The board has one member appointed by the Democratic Party.

Besides the Georgia Subsequent Injury Trust Fund, Fervier is also a member of the chairman’s advisory council of the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation and serves on the board of directors of Kid’s Chance of Georgia.