Director’s Note: Several hundred words from a grateful election geek
Plus FAQ on the future of electionline and Pew’s elections portfolio
By Doug Chapin
As announced a few weeks ago, today is my last day as director of Election Initiatives at the Pew Center on the States. Starting tomorrow, I will be joining the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota to help develop and expand their election program.
After 10 years crisscrossing the country talking about the future of election administration – especially the need for a better-developed system of recruiting, training and recognizing election administrators – it’s incredibly exciting to, in essence, have my bluff called on making it happen.
The best part of the new job is that I will get to keep doing what I love most: work with the women and men across the country who do what it takes to make the American election system function day-to- day – not just on Election Day. You’ll still see and hear from me in all of the old familiar places, and I hope to find new avenues to spread the word about developing an election system that keeps pace with the way Americans live today.
As I depart, however, I can’t help thinking about everyone who has made my 10 years at Pew so deeply rewarding, both personally and professionally. Specifically, I want to thank:
Finally, a deep and heartfelt thank you to the thousands of election officials and policymakers across the nation for allowing me to be a part of your work. As far as I’m concerned, election administration is the coolest job in America (if not the world) – and I look forward to continuing the journey together.
To all of you – thanks for 10 great years. I can’t wait to see what the next ten have in store.
Ever since the announcement, I’ve gotten several questions about what my departure means for other parts of Pew’s portfolio. As a service to all of you, here are the answers:
Q: What’s going to happen to electionline.org and the newsletter?
A: electionline.org and electionlineWeekly will continue under the steady hand of Mindy Moretti, Sean Greene and my colleagues on the Election Initiatives team. They (and me occasionally as a guest contributor) will still be bringing you the all latest news you’ve come to expect from us.
Q: What’s the future of the Pew elections portfolio?
A: The work will continue at its impressive pace. The success of the Election Initiatives team in our campaigns to reform military and overseas voting and expand the Voting Information Project is well-documented, and we are excited about the future of our efforts to upgrade the nation’s approach to voter registration. We also have some other interesting ideas in the pipeline – like the focus on evidence-based election administration – that you may be hearing more about in the future.
Q: Who’s replacing you at Election Initiatives?
A: I would expect that there will be an announcement soon about the structure of the Elections team; until then, you should use the following contacts:
Q: Speaking of which, how do I contact you?
A: Doug Chapin
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
130 Humphrey Center
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455