Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bernie Buescher Good Choice for Tough Job

I began many speeches last fall with a moment of silence for our county clerks. While clerks have a variety of responsibilities, it is their election responsibilities that have taken over their jobs. Before term-limits, county clerks might spend an entire career in the job. Now, they’re lucky to get through their two terms without a major voter controversy.

Bernie Buescher has good training for the Secretary of State position as a former state department chief (DLA) and head of the JBC. But, the Secretary of State election job, with its multiple conflicted constituencies, heavy federal mandates and constant litigation, is becoming nearly impossible to manage.

While voting professionals and activists engage in high-level arguments over which system to use and the types of locations and ballots, the public is generally copasetic about the experience. In an exit poll Ciruli Associates conducted, Rice University directed and the Pew Foundation funded last November, voters said they were mostly satisfied with their voting experience (see PowerPoint). Colorado’s election appeared mostly error-fee due to a major effort by county clerks and state election officials.

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