Following a nomination by Supervisor Frank Principi, the Registrar and the Office of Elections staff were selected as Prince William County Government’s Employees of the Month for January 2017.
The County’s Office of Elections staff had a monumental task ahead of them after the 2012 presidential election. In the 2012 election, a precinct’s last voter was checked in at 9:45 p.m.–precincts close at 7 p.m.–but it took that long for the last person in line at 7 p.m. to vote. This was the worst example, but not the only one in Prince William County where many precincts had long lines that left some citizens waiting hours in order to vote. The agency received numerous complaints and was determined to fix the problems for future elections.
Under the leadership of Registrar Michele White and the County’s Electoral Board members, the Board of County Supervisors formed a task force of citizens to look at the election process and make recommendations to the Board on how to alleviate the problems for future elections. The task force recommended splitting some precincts to make them smaller – meaning that voters had to be informed of the changes well in advance of Election Day. The office also transitioned from an electronic voting booth to a paper ballot and had to train employees, election officers and the public on their use. They worked tirelessly to register voters, collect absentee ballots, train volunteers, and adopt new technology.
“The team enhanced the voting experience and helped to make Prince William a community of choice,” For this, they truly deserve the Employee of the Month Award for January 2017.