On October 19, 2012, I had the opportunity to speak with Paula Sollami Covello, the County Clerk in Mercer County, New Jersey. She is responsible for ballots, positioning on the ballots, and Election Day counting of returns. She was first elected to this office in 2006.
Mrs. Covello described the three offices responsible for running elections. “The Clerk’s office draws the ballots and positions. We also print the ballots, and prep sample and print and issue vote-by-mail ballots…The Clerk’s office also counts votes on Election Night.” She also described the roles of the other two offices, “The Superintendant of elections deals with voter registration… The Board of Elections is a bipartisan board, two Democrats and two Republicans. The Board counts all the vote-by-mail ballots. They are also in charge of polling locations and training poll workers.” Mrs. Covello expressed faith in this process, saying that this three-office system “provides good checks and balances. There are multiple offices with responsibilities, and it functions in a bipartisan way. The County Clerk is elected, but the staff is all civil servants, and the Superintendant is from one party, but the deputy Superintendant is from the other major party.” [Read more…] about The Changing Face of Elections Technology in New Jersey: An Interview with Paula Sollami Covello, County Clerk, Mercer County, New Jersey