State Board of Elections Endorses Pay Raise for General Registrars

December 31, 2014

The State Board of Elections (SBE) endorsed a significant pay raise for General Registrars at their November 24 meeting. The recommendation came at the request of the General Registrar/Electoral Board Duties Workgroup which was tasked with studying duties, responsibilities and compensation of general registrars and electoral boards in maintaining voter registrations and administering elections.  The workgroup is composed mostly of members of the Virginia Electoral Boards Association (VEBA) and the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia (VRAV) and is co-chaired by former Lt. Governor John Hager and Jean Jenson.

The SBE voted unanimously to approve the following four recommendations and to continue the charter of the work group through December 2015 to implement the recommendations and further study elections administration in Virginia.

1) The General Registrar should be designated as “Director of Elections” for the locality being served — this can be accomplished by an amendment to §24.2-114(18), adding language to the effect that “The general registrar shall serve as Director of Elections for the locality.”
2) The Code of Virginia should be modified to reassign duties associated with absentee voting and campaign finance reporting to the General Registrar in the role as Director of Elections, Chapters 7 and 9 respectively in §24.2.
3) The salary and population brackets for General Registrar/Director of Elections should be the same as that of the Treasurer, including the additional compensation for completing a subject specific certification program as part of continuing education.
4) The General Assembly should be requested to resume 100% reimbursements through the Department of Elections for general registrar and electoral board salaries as provided for by statute 24.2-108 and 24.2-111.

Increasing salaries for General Registrars by equalizing their pay with the salaries for treasurers funded through the Compensation Board could raise salaries by up to 39 percent for some registrars and raises questions for localities. The Appropriation Act sets the salaries for registrars, but the state currently only pays about 65 percent of authorized salaries with localities making up the difference. If the state authorizes higher salaries but continues to not fully fund these salaries, then localities could be forced to pay the requested raise.

For more information about the workgroup and their full report and proposal, click here.

VACo Contact: Erik Johnston

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