[Image via richmond.com]
Virginia state election director Edgardo Cortes announced yesterday that he is stepping down from his post effective immediately. Here’s an excerpt from his email to the election community:
My last day as Commissioner of Elections in Virginia was last Friday. I’m proud that over the past four years, we showed that modernizing elections, with a focus on making it easier for voters, can lead to increased participation and more secure elections. It has been amazing to oversee Virginia elections while we did everything from implementing electronic voter registration at DMVs, to online absentee applications, to the replacement of DREs statewide with paper based voting equipment. Virginia now has more active registered voters than ever before that are turning out to vote in record numbers. Serving under Governor McAuliffe has been an unforgettable experience.
Edgardo deserves tremendous credit for all he and the Department of Elections have accomplished in the last several years. Virginia is particularly challenging from an election administration standpoint because there is a statewide election every year – and the last several cycles have been particularly eventful, with virtually every aspect of the voting process changing for voters and local officials alike. Stir in the fact that Virginia has become a fierce partisan battleground (it’s not everyday that control of a state legislative chamber comes down to a drawing!) and it’s easy to see why elections in Virginia are no easy task.
While Edgardo says he’s “not sure what my next adventure will be yet,” I tip my #electiongeek cap to him for all he’s done in the last several years. Here’s to success in whatever comes next … stay tuned!