By Marty Gordon

Elections are the central institution of a democratic representative government and, in Virginia, about 130 voter registrars make up the small army of ordinary people who prepare for, conduct and certify the results of elections. It’s a big job: translating the consent of the governed into the authority of government, enacting democracy itself, but most residents do not know the duties of those overseeing how elections are conducted.


Photo courtesy of Randy Wertz
Longtime Montgomery County voter registrar Randy Wertz has written a new about his 13-year tenure.

To remedy that, retired Montgomery County registrar Randy Wertz has written “Overworked and Under Paid, the life of an election official,” detailing the ups and downs of the job.

According to Wertz, voters stand in line for a minutes, sign in at the registration desk, go to the next station to get their ballot and finally take their ballot and insert it in the voting machine, then receive a “I voted!,” sticker.

“Members of the public have never thought about what goes on behind the scenes,” he said.

His new book provides a look into his life as a voter registrar, the person appointed to educate the general public about voter registration and encourage the general public to register.

Wertz spent 13 years behind the desk and through the election cycle of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Before coming to the voter registrar’s office, Wertz spent 25 years in the hospital…



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