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October 18, 2023

New Council Will Cultivate a Resilient Elections Workforce

Washington, DC – Today the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, and The Elections Group, an elections consulting partnership, announced the formation of the Election Workforce Advisory Council.

“We are excited to have assembled a diverse group of election officials, experts, academics, and industry representatives in this council,” said Rachel Orey, senior associate director at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “This is a multi-faceted effort to study, develop, and implement best practices that will meaningfully improve recruitment, retention, and training within election administration in the long term.”

Experienced elections officials are resigning or retiring at record rates, and state and local governments are struggling to replace them. “Without intervention, we risk reaching a point at which elections are administered and staffed by a wave of new officials grappling with the complexities of their role while operating under intense public scrutiny,” said Noah Praetz, president, The Elections Group.

“Even for experienced officials, new challenges require new competencies,” added Jennifer Morrell, chief executive officer, The Elections Group. “With the 2024 presidential election fast approaching, we must act now to support this mission-critical workforce and preserve public trust in elections for years to come.”

The Election Workforce Advisory Council will leverage the combined expertise of its members to develop a sustainable talent pipeline, preserve institutional knowledge, and improve job performance and satisfaction – all to ensure that elections are run by experienced professionals. The first initiative of the council is an academic grant program designed to generate new research findings to inform and enhance these efforts.

The council’s collective expertise will provide a holistic perspective to inform research, generate new solutions, and serve as a central convening ground for this critical work.


Members of the Election Workforce Advisory Council

Current Election Administrators 

  • Derek Bowens, Director of Elections, Durham County, North Carolina
  • Judd Choate, Election Director, Colorado & Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota
  • Eric Fey, Director of Elections, St. Louis County, Missouri
  • Tommy Gong, Deputy County Clerk-Recorder, Contra Costa County, California
  • Jesse Harris, Deputy Elections Director, Georgia
  • Shelly Jackson, Deputy Elections Director, Utah
  • Deborah Scroggin, Elections and Special Projects Manager, Portland, Oregon
  • Karen Sellers, Executive Director, Kentucky State Board of Elections
  • Keely Varvel, Assistant Secretary of State, Arizona
  • Mandy Vigil, Election Director, New Mexico
  • Mark Wlaschin, Deputy Secretary of State for Elections, Nevada

Election Official Associations and University Partnerships

  • Matt Crane, Executive Director, Colorado County Clerks Association
  • Amy Farrington, Executive Director, Florida Supervisors of Elections
  • Kathleen Hale, Professor of Political Science & Co-Director of the Election Administration Initiative, Auburn University
  • Megan Hasting, Program Manager, Professional Development Team at OSU’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs
  • Ben Hovland, Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission
  • Carolina Lopez, Executive Director, Partnership for Large Election Jurisdictions
  • Leah Murray, Professor of Political Science & Philosophy, Weber State University
  • Aaron Ockerman, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Election Officials
  • Tammy Patrick, CEO of Programs, Election Center
  • Lisa Schaefer, Executive Director, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania
  • Anne Schroeder, Program Coordinator, Florida Certified Election Professionals Program

Elections and Public Administration Research Institutions

  • Mitchell Brown, Professor of Political Science & Co-Director of the Election Administration Initiative, Auburn University
  • Bridgett King, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Kentucky
  • Martha Kropf, Professor of Political Science & Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Matthew Germer, Associate Director and Elections Fellow, R Street Institute’s Governance Program
  • Sean Greene, Associate Director, MIT Election Data & Science Lab
  • Paul Manson, Research Director, Elections & Voting Information Center

Occupational Health and Public Sector Workforce Experts

  • Jennifer Dimoff, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior & Human Resource Management and Affiliate Faculty, University of Ottawa and Oregon Health & Science University
  • Barbara Dyer, Research Affiliate, MIT Sloan School of Management’s Institute for Work and Employment Research
  • Jennifer Pahlka, Co-Founder & Board Member, U.S. Digital Response


About BPC

The Bipartisan Policy Center is a mission-focused organization helping policymakers work across party lines to craft bipartisan solutions. By connecting Republicans and Democrats, delivering data and context, negotiating public policy, and creating space for bipartisan collaboration, BPC helps turn legislators’ best ideas into durable laws that improve lives. Since 2007, the Bipartisan Policy Center has helped shepherd countless bills across the finish line.

About The Elections Group

The Elections Group is a nonpartisan election administration consulting firm. It’s a team of election experts that supports election professionals by promoting collaboration, fostering thought leadership, and elevating best practices through the development of training materials and other resources.

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