Luzerne County is seeking a deputy election director — a position that’s been discussed for two years.
County Election Director Marisa Crispell had restructured staff and took on additional work in 2013 to save the county money but never received a deputy as promised and unexpectedly lost another staffer through furloughs. The intense workload was part of the reason Crispell left her position in February.
Crispell returned as election overseer in September, aware the staffing situation may not change, but the county council recently agreed to fund the deputy position in the 2016 budget.
The deputy position is advertised at $36,000 to $40,000 plus benefits. The position does not require a college degree. The county is seeking someone with at least three years experience in a legal, governmental or political office environment and preferably knowledge of elections and voter registration procedures and practices.
More detailed information is available on the “open positions” section of the county website, www.luzernecounty.org.
The first review of applicants is Jan. 8.
Crispell said the addition of a deputy will free her up to resume the in-house coding and programming of election ballots, which will more than pay for the new position. She started coding and programming ballots in 2013 — work not handled by her predecessors — to save the county money.
The in-house coding ended with her departure, forcing the county to spend a combined $120,000 for an outside company to code and program ballots for both elections in 2015, she said.
Past commissioners had created an election deputy position as a back-up after former director Kevin Jordan unexpectedly took 11 weeks off for unspecified reasons during the November 2001 election. The deputy post hasn’t been filled since then to save money and due to concern there wasn’t enough work to justify the expense.
Crispell said the deputy will also assist with proofing, responding to public questions about campaign finance reports and other election matters and preparing the upcoming online posting of campaign finance reports in county, school district and magisterial district judge races.
In addition to Crispell, the office employs three inspectors and a voting machine warehouse worker, she said.
The office lost four workers during Crispell’s 2013 restructuring and fifth during furloughs in January 2014.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.