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Garner to Take Helm as Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters

Veteran Elections Official Known for Practical, Inclusive Approach

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Today, the County of Santa Clara announced the appointment of Barry Garner to serve as the new Registrar of Voters for Santa Clara County.Forty-four year old Garner has more than 20 years of professional experience, the majority of which has been in key election operations management positions.

Barry GarnerGarner most recently served as Director of Registration and Elections Operations for Fulton County, Georgia, which encompasses Atlanta and 13 other cities in the greater metro area. Fulton County’s population is about 921,000, with 650,000 registered voters. In this role, he also served as the Supervisor of Elections and as Chief Administrative Officer of the Board of Registration and Elections. Garner also oversaw election district boundaries, directed the voter registration program and held town hall meetings with community stakeholders.

“We look forward to Garner’s leadership here in Santa Clara County,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “He understands what it takes to prepare for and conduct transparent voter operations and to win and maintain the confidence of the electorate.”

In Fulton County, Garner is credited with creating the county’s first Family Voting Day and the successful implementation of the Relia-Vote™ system, which streamlined the entire absentee ballot process by folding, stuffing, sorting by precincts, and tracking ballots via the U.S. Postal Service, saving the county $2.5 million in the first year. He also introduced an automated absentee ballot application for in-person voting that greatly reduced voters’ wait time, placed early/advanced voting sites in each of the five Fulton County Commission districts and began publishing a quarterly newsletter.

Having served more than 18 years in senior level elections management positions, Garner has extensive experience as a government elections official. Before joining Fulton County, Garner served as the Assistant Deputy Elections Supervisor for the Miami-Dade County Florida Board of Elections. He was involved in establishing a new voting system to better serve the Miami-Dade area, the eighth largest county in the US, with 1.2 million registered voters.

Prior to working in Miami, Garner was the Director of Elections in Hillsborough, North Carolina. He also was the Deputy Director of Elections in Durham, North Carolina. Garner began his elections career in 1994 as Director of Research and Education for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, in Raleigh. He also served as a Computer Consultant for the State Board. In these roles Garner was responsible for training new elections directors appointed throughout the state.

In the various elections management positions he held, he also was responsible for directing department functions, operations and oversight, including planning, budgeting, staffing and evaluating the performance of direct reports.

Garner was awarded his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1989, by North Carolina Central University, in Durham.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara County,” said Garner. “As an elections official, I recognize that voting is central to our democracy and way of life. My goal is to use my experience and skills to help ensure effective stewardship of the voting process in the county.”

Garner’s appointment as Registrar of Voters is effective no later than December 5, 2011 and he will be paid $150,519 annually. He and his wife Pamela will relocate to Santa Clara County with their two sons - Barry II, 7 years and Jackson, 2 years of age.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119
Posted: November 10, 2011