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An U.S. Election Assistance Commission blog written by former Commissioner Matthew Masterson

Vice-Chair Masterson: Legends of Elections

Aug 17, 2016

As we move one day closer to Election Day, I am reminded of one of the best pieces of wisdom ever shared with me. Former Ohio state and local election official Keith Cunningham liked to remind me, "…The one thing an election official can’t get more of is time. It’s their most precious resource." Election officials are savoring every hour, minute and second they have before Election Day ensuring every detail is managed, every system tested and secured and all registrations are entered.  

It is with that as backdrop that I wanted to share with you one of the EAC’s newest projects.  It is one that I am thrilled we are doing and hopeful has a lasting impact.  Today the EAC rolled out the first of its "Legends of Elections" video series.  The purpose of the series is to allow election officials the benefit of the perspective of time.  For me there is great value and reassurance in listening and learning from those who came before me, and I hope you all feel the same.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with three of the very best election officials I know. All three have blissfully retired, but allowed me to pick their brain for a little while.  My hope is that by tapping into their decades of experience, election officials can benefit from their wisdom, knowledge and perhaps most importantly right now perspective.  In addition, I hope they view this as a small recognition of their years of hard work and dedication in service of their fellow citizens.

The first video is with Doug Lewis, long time executive director of the Election Center.  After that EAC will release videos with Shelley McThomas, former election director for Kansas City and Peggy Nighswonger, long time election director in Wyoming.  These are the first of what I hope will be many of these legends videos.  I want to personally thank Doug, Shelley and Peggy for their time, not just in shooting the video, but serving their respective communities so selflessly for so many years.  Stay tuned…

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