After 31 years of service, Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey is set to retire.
When he began his career in Montgomery County in 1990, voters used punch cards to cast their ballots. Office computers were in their infancy, and the internet was not yet a reality. Communications, besides office phones, were transmitted through pagers and fax machines.
“It’s been a long and fascinating career, but now it’s time to take a moment and see what’s next on the horizon,” Harvey said. “There are so many things to reflect on, and I am extremely grateful to my Board for the consistent support they have given me and the election office staff for the past 19 years.”
According to a County press release:
Upon his appointment by the Frederick County Board of Elections in July 2002, one of his first actions was making sure elections returns were posted on the county’s web site, starting with the September 2002 primary election.
Here are some of the major changes that have occurred in Maryland elections during Mr. Harvey’s tenure. These innovations began right after the disputed 2000 presidential election, and continue to this day.
- Provisional voting (2002)
- Statewide voter registration system (2005)
- Electronic pollbooks (2006)
- Early voting (2010)
- Electronic campaign finance system (2011)
- Optical scan voting and ballot making devices (2016)
- Vote By Mail election (2020)
- Permanent absentee voting (coming in 2022)
Barbara Wagner, who worked with the office during the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, will assume the role of interim election director on July 7.
MACo wishes Mr. Harvey well in his retirement.