Countdown to Election 2012 - Office of Elections Prepares for Nov. 6
August 27, 2012
The countdown to Election Day on Nov. 6 is underway and the 25 full-time employees in the Fairfax County Office of Elections are preparing to meet the challenges of holding an election in the most populous jurisdiction in Virginia.
“Within our small staff, we have nationally certified and seasoned employees who are veterans of several national elections, as well as very bright and enthusiastic young people who are bringing a fresh new perspective to our office,” says Cameron Quinn, Fairfax County’s General Registrar. “Most importantly, we have the depth, diversity and skill sets to successfully meet the challenges of the 2012 Election.”
The numbers are one indication of the work to be done. There are 237 polling places in the county overseen by approximately 3,100 election officers for more than 700,000 registered voters. In 2008, the voter turnout was 78.7 percent.
The small staff includes five employees under the age of 30. “They bring in energy, new ideas, and most certainly, the latest technology tools that keep the mature staff from getting stuck in the proverbial rut,” says Election Manager Judy Flaig
The veteran staff, most of whom have been working in the Office of Elections for more than a decade, have become mentors for the younger employees as they work together to coordinate the election.
Luke Baranyk is among the under-30 staff, and has been with the office for just under a year. His responsibilities include ensuring that the voting machines meet state and federal requirements, as well as preparing the poll locations for the election, including meeting AmericansWith Disabilities Act requirements.
“The experienced staff provides invaluable knowledge and advice, both relevant to elections and work in general,” Baranyk says. “It is really helpful to hear opinions based on years of experience.”
“The agency is benefiting from diversity by allowing experience and youth to learn from each other,” explains Sonia Skipper, who has worked for the Office of Elections since 1999. Flaig agrees, “The world is changing rapidly; age diversity is the best way to maintain a sense of balance while adapting to a changing society.”
For more information, visit the Fairfax County Office of Elections or call 703-222-0776 (TTY 711).